Life and Women Bearing Women

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Harwood’s poetry are valued texts because they explore challenging ideas of nostalgia and mortality. Discuss this statement in light of your understanding of the poetry of Gwen Harwood.

Gwen Harwood’s mournful laments Mother Who Gave Me Life and Father and Child explore the challenging ideas of nostalgia and mortality to provide valued texts.

Harwood’s elegy Mother Who Gave Me Life nostalgically explores the confronting concepts of the unavoidability of death and past bleak memories. Harwood explains explores the fragility e nature of life through the fabric motif symbolism; “fine threadbare linen” depicting symbolising the frailty image of her mother and the inevitability of her demise. Similarly, the reminiscent cosmic and iconic
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Finally through the use of empathic language, the child’s harsh epiphany is shown “I… wept, owl blind in the early sun.” This implying lies the persona’s is transformation to show a new appreciation for morality. In “Nightfall” the second part of the poem the persona uses a collective pronoun to depict togetherness as a notion of eternity which transcends earthly beings; “we stand in time’s long promised land.” The nostalgic tone presents the audience with Harwood’s perspective of the unyielding process of time and the inevitability of death. This notion is emphasised through parallelism; “we pick our last fruits”, hence utilising showing the reader of the organic discourse which to presents the comparison of the ripeness of fruit to the infinite life cycle of birth and decay. Furthermore, inevitability of death is illuminated through past tense of the self reflective question “Who can be what you were?” implying that persona’s father has ceased to exist. Through the character of the child, it is clearly evident that the poem Father and Child explores the challenging ideas of nostalgia and mortality making the texts valued in the eyes of the
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