Speech on Gwen Harwood

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  • Topic: Poetry, Meter, Mornington Peninsula
  • Pages : 3 (1001 words )
  • Download(s) : 259
  • Published : April 27, 2013
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Good Morning teachers and fellow students, just what is poetry to you? Is it just a block of words organised to mean a message? Or does it have some form of deeper meaning? To me, poetry, especially Gwen Harwood’s, is a form of communication that transcends time, it is a method of communicating your emotions and especially your beliefs to those of your time and to those in the future, in light of this, I truly enjoyed Gwen Harwood’s poetry, as it has granted me the ability to see the world through a different, more interesting perspective. In the literary criticism, Boundary Conditions, written by Jennifer Strauss in 1992, she believes that “Harwood’s work characteristically illustrates tonal boundaries of sharpness and sweetness”, and stating that Gwen Harwood’s most common themes “are the old ones; love, friendship, art, religion and memory”, all of which I agree with, the majority of the themes that Strauss has stated appear, and are obvious, in all of Gwen Harwood’s poems. Religion and memory in particular helped me better understand and enjoy her poem, and the context she had written it in. Religious motifs are commonly shared within all her poems; it reflects Harwood’s religious background and her “dream of Jesus”, roughly explained in her article, “Lamplit Presences” written in the 1980s, she spoke of her security within the arms of Jesus, “safe on his gentle breast.” Triste, Triste is a perfect example of this, she speaks of how “...the loved other is held for mortal comfort, and taken...” further given textual integrity by the poem’s own name, as “Triste” means sad, mournful or wistful. The poem is littered with ambiguous words, such as “I was with you in agony.” In an ironic sense, Harwood is talking about the “comfort” that can be achieved through one’s faith and personal affairs. Enjambment is also used in the poem to create a sort of flow when the poem is read out loud, “And the heart from its prison cries/ to the spirit walking above...” whilst...
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