Harmonium

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Harmonium

‘and was due to be bundled off to a skip. Or was mine for a song, if I wanted it.’ * Ambiguity: this is either an expression used to denote a bargain... or the harmonium is quite literally used for singing.

‘Sunlight, through stained glass, which day to day could beautify saints and raise the dead’ * __ Stained glass windows are pictures of saints
* __ The Roman Catholic process of declaring a deceased person’s life as one which was lived in a holy fashion thus preparing the deceased for sainthood. * __ The sunlight brings the saints depicted on the windows to life

‘Had aged the harmoniums softwood case and yellowed the finger nails of its keys’ * The keyboard is sun damaged unlike the saints- the sun has not brought life to the harmonium, UV rays have aged the wood, as it has faded

‘And one of its notes had lost its tongue’
* Personification- the key is broken and cannot make a noise- it cannot sing (lost its tongue)- he has given the organ human characteristics.

Is the harmonium a metaphor for a coffin?
‘which day to day could beautify saints and raise the dead had aged the harmoniums softwood case and yellowed the finger nails of its keys, and one of its notes had lost its tongue, and holes were worn in both the treadles where the organists feet, in grey, wollen socks, and leather soled shoes, had pedaled and pedaled.’ * __ - reference to the dead

* __- casket/coffin
* __- decay
* __First part of the body to decay- flesh has rotten
* __Worms in corpse
* __Colour of rotting flesh
* __Sitting on the corpses feet

‘But its hummed harmonics still struck a chord: for a hundred hears that organ had stood’ * __ Alliteration: Armitage uses alliteration to emphasize how the organ can still make a melodious noise after hundreds of years * __ ‘Struck a chord’ an expression we use to show how something has jogged our memory or stayed in our thoughts

If the harmonium is a metaphor for a...
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