What does Harwood say about change in her poems

Length: 6 Pages 1587 Words

What does Harwood say about change and changing self in her poems “In the Park”, “Prize-giving” and “The Glass Jar”? How does she communicate her ideas? Change is just and ordinary event that every individual encounters many times over throughout their life’s journey. Whether this change is as dramatic as adjusting to a death, or a general change in your lifestyle, career, family or friends, changing self is a vital part of the learning process and life’s path that should not be dismissed. By using her poems “In the Park”, “Prize-giving” and “The Glass Jar” as a basis, and combining these with various poetic devices such as symbolism, juxtaposition, aural imagery and strong descriptive language, Gwen Harwood communicates her ideas on the various forms of change and changing self. Her poems make the reader aware of the fact that change can happen at any time, at any age and point of our lives, and on occasions when we least expect. “In the Park” is a sonnet who’s title sets the scene for the poem by indicating the simple and boring life the woman leads and echoes the isolating existence of suburban life. Harwood tells the story of a woman, a mother who is so caught up with bringing up her ch Continue...


The line "and felt his voltage fling his hold from his calm age and power is a powerful line by which the reader explores the concept of a moment, as simple as a handshake between two strangers, changing from an ordinary hand gesture to a life altering moment, "turning his image upside down. The fact that Harwood makes the first half of the poem about him and the second half about her emphasises the switch of power between the two personas and indicates the beginning of his self change, the start of a new journey. Through "In the Park, Gwen Harwood not only makes known her ideas on motherhood, but less obviously, communicates her ideas on changing self. Once again, the poem holds a universal theme as Harwood speaks of "A child which allows the reader to be more personal and relate it back to their own childhood. The scarf and his mother are both representative of the sense of security for which he longs for, however both fail him in one night. Through her poems, Gwen Harwood explores the concept of changing self by combining humor, sarcasm and drama to convey emotions of laughter, deep thought and sorrow in the reader. Through this boy and the events of the poem by which he grows and matures almost immediately, Harwood expresses her ideas on the changing self of young children. The realisation that he can not always rely on the people around him to stop what they are doing and be there right on his calling is a lesson, that when the opportunity and situation arise, all children must learn. When met by this man, they engage in an unnatural, insincere and cliche conversation about the children, which indicates that the two no longer have anything in common and that he feels awkward being around a woman such as herself. "From his neat head unquestionably rises a small balloon...'but for the grace of God...' She is extremely self-conscience and alone, nobody in the world will listen to her so she is left to talk to the wind. It is here that Harwood focuses on his persona, just about ensuring that the readers get the impression that he is arrogant and entirely self concerned. "Prize-giving also by Gwen Harwood is a humorous, satirical and sarcastic poem whose intention is not only to point out the stupidity of prize-giving ceremonies and academia but also to show that arrogance, as shown by Professor Eisenbart, in the first few stanzas can be a dangerous personality trait. The fact that Harwood concludes with the hyperbole, "They have eaten me alive, which the mother says to the wind, shows the reader that woman are under pressure from society, and that they feel alone in the world. Harwood uses the titian as the voice of the public who cleverly puts down his sense of pride. He truly believes that this glass jar will make himself feel as safe at night as he does during the day.