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Piano by D.H. Lawrence

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by

Katie Lui

on 17 January 2014

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Transcript of Piano by D.H. Lawrence

Themes
Content
Piano
is about a man reminiscing about his childhood when he hears a woman singing while playing the piano, and his desire to go back.
Form
It is a lyric poem
Has three quatrains (stanza with four lines and two rhyming couplets)
Rhyme scheme is AA/BB/CC/DD/EE/FF
This beat makes the poem flow like a song or a musical rhythm, just like the topic of the poem – piano
Simple rhyme scheme may also express simplicity and innocence of childhood
Tone and Mood
Nostalgic
Depressed
Sentimental
Melancholic
Poetic Devices
Onomatopoeia
Tinkling
Tingling
Metaphor
"Taking me back down the vista of years" His memories are compared to a vista of years. A 'vista' is 'a view across a landscape' and by comparing this to his memories, he lets the readers know that the memories the narrator and his mother have had were beautiful
Poet
D.H. Lawrence (1885-1930) was born on September 11 1885 in Eastwood
His father was a coal miner and his mother was a schoolteacher
Educated at Nottingham High School and won a scholarship
D.H. Lawrence was close to his mother as he grew up
Wrote several poems about his close relationship with his mother, 'Piano' being one of them
Died of tuberculosis on March 2nd, 1930
Piano
by D.H. Lawrence
Imagery
Used in this poem so the reader can commiserate with the narrator.
"To the old Sunday evenings at home, with winter outside. And hymns in the cozy parlor, the tinkling piano our guide." This shows us a clear image of a mother singing a hymn to the speaker in a cozy parlor in contrast with a bitter and chilly night, making the atmosphere with the narrator and mother more intimate.
'Softly, in the dusk' sets a soft image, before contrasting it with the negativity that comes later on
Voice/Viewpoint
We look at the poem from the narrator's (D. H. Lawrence) point of view and his relationship with his mother
Piano is in first person, but third person is used in the first quatrain when he describes himself as a child
Presentation by Henry & Katie
PIANO BY D.H. LAWRENCE

Softly, in the dusk, a woman is singing to me;
Taking me back down the vista of years, till I see
A child sitting under the piano, in the boom of the tingling
strings
And pressing the small, poised feet of a mother who smiles as she sings.

In spite of myself, the insidious mastery of song
Betrays me back, till the heart of me weeps to belong
To the old Sunday evenings at home, with winter outside
And hymns in the cozy parlor, the tinkling piano our guide.

So now it is vain for the singer to burst into clamor
With the great black piano appassionato. The glamour
Of childish days is upon me, my manhood is cast
Down in the flood of remembrance, I weep like a child for the
past.
Music
Relationships
Childhood & Adulthood
Music
Relationships
Childhood & Adulthood
The theme music is greatly explored in this poem. Lawrence uses words like 'tingling', 'tinkling', 'boom' and 'appassionato' to describe the sounds made by the piano
The song the woman sings brings him back to his childhood when his mother plays the piano, showing the reader the relationship they share.
Music reconnects him to his childhood, when he was happier
This poem shows the close bond between a mother and her son, and even though he is an adult now, he still yearns to be with his mom. "...in the boom of the tingling strings, and pressing the small, poised feet of a mother who smiles as she sings."
The reader learns that the narrator is desperate to go back to the past.
The conflict between childhood and adulthood is also explored in
Piano
. "Down in the flood of remembrance, I weep like a child for the past." We can see that Lawrence misses his childhood so much that he forgets he is a man and weeps like a child.
The poem mainly focuses on the conflict between present experiences and memories
thanks for listening
Structure
Every quatrain mentions both childhood and adulthood
First two lines - Adulthood
Last two lines - Childhood
Full transcript