Poetry by Gwen Harwood

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"Ideas and the way those ideas are presented are what makes a poets' work distinctive. Choose 2 poems from 1 poet and describe how they show the distinctive characteristics of this poets' work. Gwen Harwood skilfully employs language techniques to explore a variety of distinctive themes and ideas in her poems. This is seen in 'In The Park' where Harwood explores the human condition through the simplistic and dull life of her female protagonist, while in 'Prize Giving' she explores multiple universal themes through her male protagonist Professor Eisenbart. Harwood effectively establishes a simplistic image through her title 'In the Park' to imply the mundane simplicity of the place, the people and the idea. This is enhanced through the simplistic first line as the woman "sits in the park". Here we are introduced to the protagonist with her depressingly dull and monotonous life, clearly portrayed through Hardwood's image in describing how the protagonist's "clothes are out of date". This not only portrays her shabby physical appearance but also the idea that she lives in the past and that time has passed her by. The use of negative connotation describing how her "two children whine and bicker, tug her skirt" adds to the depressing mood, before Hardwood goes on to tell us that "A third draws aimless patterns in the dirt", helping to further reinforce her lack of purpose in life. The double entendre of the persona being "too late" on two levels effectively conveys that she is "too late" to show disinterest to him and that it is "too late" for her and this lost love to regain a close relationship. Harwood's clever employment of the clichéd expressions of "how nice" and "time holds great surprises" conveys how dull and pointless their conversation is to reinforce the superficiality of the situation and the pointlessness of their reunion as his "neat head" has no remnant of communication left to share with her. Furthermore, the woman's low self esteem is portrayed as...
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