Three Lunulae, Truro Museum is a poem written by Penelope Shuttle and it is written with the perspective of a person who visits a museum and views the Lunulae. The visitor, upon first seeing the Lunulae begins to imagine their history. The gender of the viewer is unknown but it seems to be a woman, given the gentle and delicate way of writing, shown through the first stanza “gold so thin, only an old woman would notice its weight”. The poem consists of 14 stanzas but varies in length probably contributing to a shift in mood and tone of the poem.
The poem begins with the description of the Lunulae as soon as the visitor walks in where they comment on the gold on the Lunulae and that it was so thin only an old woman would notice it, creating imagery in our mind about how fine and delicate the Lunulae is and therefore, adding to the speakers intrigue towards the object. This description continues in the second stanza where she compares the gold to crescent moons that came out of the “sunken district of the dark”. This comparison probably tells us how the Lunulae were found after the “archaeologists” dug it out of the ground. This gets the poet to start describing the ornaments and how the women of the Bronze Age “threw no barbaric shadows” which seems like a connection with the Bronze age and how it may have been a time of violence. The reference to “freeze” in stanza five and “winter” links to a seasonal recurrence where spring probably represents the young people and that winter symbolizes doom, old age and eventually: death. Contrasting to this description, the poet uses a lot of delicate and gentle sounds such as moon, women and mood to probably ease out the process, almost as if it was a cyclic movement.
When the speaker describes these ornaments, it’s as though time stands still while she is entranced by the ornaments but the mention of the “slight quick tap of a clock” (stanza 6), the reader is reminded that