I am writing an essay comparing how the poets who wrote: piano, once upon a time and poem thirty-nine feel about the past.
In Piano the poet listens to a woman play a piano which reminds him of his past, the lines ’ Taking me back down the vista of years, till I see A child sitting under the piano’ show that he can remember being a small child – small enough to be under a piano and the addition of the line ‘ of a mother who smiles as she sings’ informs us of happy times listening to his mother. his mother e is hurt by the feeling, even becoming angry at the woman for doing so, “now it is vain for the singer to burst into clamour”. The words “burst” and “clamour” are negative and are used to show the anger and jealousy the poet feels towards the singer.
In Once Upon a Time the poet wants also to return to the innocence of childhood, a world without pain, where everything is true, “So show me, son, how to laugh; show me how I used to smile once upon a time when I was like you.” He is asking his son to show him how to become innocent and true like a child.
In Poem Thirty-Nine the poet acknowledges what her father taught her and how that made her become who she is, “Now I look and cook just like him”. I think “look” implies that she sees the world as her father did.
All three poems are about child and parent relationships.
In poem thirty-nine the poet sees the present in the past
In once upon a time the poet sees the future in the past
In piano the poet sees the past in the present
All three poems when put together they give the message: don’t grieve for the past, acknowledge it, and stop it happening in the future.