The passing of time emphasizes the importance of growing on one’s journey. Gwen Harwood’s fusion of modernist and romantic poetry uses powerful narratives to understand growth on one’s journey through the transition from innocence to experience, the quest for whole identity and the cyclical nature of life. ‘Father and Child’ charts a child’s journey from innocence to experience capturing the individual growth from maturing experiences. ‘Alter Ego’ illustrates the questioning and acceptance of ourselves in life and death. Lastly, ‘At Mornington’ canvasses the need to reconcile with ourselves of the inevitability of death with the fleeting nature of time. Thus, readers are engaged by Harwood’s poetry - through its poetic treatment of growth and time, encouraging us to reconcile with ourselves on our individual growth in life.
Growth implies a change from one position to another with experiences over time – in this case from innocence to maturity. ‘Father and child’ is a two-part poem depicting the relationship between a father and child demonstrating the growth from maturing experiences – it displays that with the acquisition of knowledge – innocence is sacrificed. The idea of childhood innocence is a Romantic idea, the process of growing up is shown through part one ‘Barn Owl.’ In the first stanza, biblical allusions and descriptive language are used to describe the child as “blessed” and “angel mind” conveying the purity of childhood. This is a time where the child’s life