Gwen Harwood Essay:
Why is Gwen Harwood’s poetry still read today?
The relevancy of timeless themes and issues throughout Gwen Harwood’s poetry is why it is till read in the modern genre.. Harwood’s emphasis on the connection between themes and issues in both modern and past contexts, makes it appropriate for students to study as the appreciation and understanding of her work expands. Themes such as family and relationships, life and death that Harwood displays in the texts of Mother Who Gave Me Life, Violets and At Mornington conveys the idea, that we still need to come to terms with the same issues today as they will always be around.
Harwood’s outlook on family and relationships is still relevant today. She focuses on specific aspects of her life, however it can cause obstacles due to time passing ‘Mother Who gave me Life’ shows how Harwood expresses her love and compassion towards her mother, and the influences she had in her life, showing its relevance in today’s world. In some interpretations Harwood focus’s on Romanticism referring to nature in ‘thresholds of ice, rock, fire’ as she describes humankind’s evolution. However in my opinion the psychoanalytical interpretation dominates this poem because she explains the love and duties of a mother’s sequence, ‘The Sister’ referring to all women are sisters, shown as a sequence of life through memories and thoughts. Harwood shows respect towards her mother in the metaphor ‘It is not for my children I walk… It is for you’ emphasising the centuries of women through time. The literary, critic Patricia Makeham believes this poem reflects on ‘understanding of herself through descendants whilst acquiring skills of life’ through ‘wild daughters becoming woman’ and the noun ‘wisdom’, this I comply with. Harwood appreciates her mother’s qualities of life in recognising an unbroken chain of woman’ as a symbol of family, this relationship of daughter to mother is still strongly bonded in today’s society and...
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