Gwen Harwood- Father and Child
The ability of a text to be universally accepted in a range of contexts ultimately determines its textual integrity and appreciation. Gwen Harwood’s work draws from the inspiration of her context, her lifelong influences, primarily music, her childhood and religious beliefs. This can be identified through study of Gwen Harwood's poem, "Father and Child" that is able to be appreciated in a multitude of different contexts due to its universality and textual integrity. Gwen Harwood’s coherent use of form and language to produce an integrated whole in terms of meaning and value affirm the textual integrity of her work “Father and Child”. The poem delicately integrates a host of re-iterated universal motifs to produce the poem as a collective whole and confirms Gwen Harwood’s ability to transcend time in her poetry so that it can be accepted in a great deal of contexts. Perhaps the pivotal idea presented in the poem is time. Harwood has clearly articulated the concern for time passing by, and the loss of innocence that comes as a child gains experience, also reflecting the trademark interwoven Romantic style of her poetry. The structure of the poem further delves into this idea of the concern for time. The two symmetrical linked poems place emphasis on how time has moved on and separate childhood from adulthood. The constant use of enjambments reflect the passing of time and the ambiguity of where time disappears to in our vast existence. Harwood’s use of structure and language affirm her ability to transcend time throughout her work, further enhancing its capability to be accepted in different contexts and upholding its textual integrity. A prominent aspect of the poem is the amalgamation of religions and biblical allusions ranging through multiple belief systems. Harwood’s integrated insinuations “horny fiend”, “times long promised land” that relate both to the Christian and Jewish religions, present all responders the opportunity...
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