Textural Integrity in Gwen Harwood Essay

1587 Words Sep 17th, 2012 7 Pages
EXTENDED RESPONSE: Gwen Harwood
“In your view, how has textural integrity been achieved in Harwood’s works. Support your view with detailed reference to at least two of the poems set for study, evaluating the structure and poetic techniques”

Through the mastery of the unique structure, style, and coherent textural integrity of her work, Gwen Harwood is widely acknowledged as a ______ poet. Harwood engages the audience personally though the highly personal, yet detached tone and language, thus enabling alternate reading and responses by an individual possible. The personal experiences depicted within some of her works humanises her verse, thus giving it a tangible context, relatable to the responder. A number of aspects prevalent in
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“At Mornington” explores a number of themes commonly used in Harwood’s work, including; memory and continuity, transience of time, significance of strong and lasting relationships, the importance of the wholeness of the human experience, and the dichotomies of life. The enduring nature of these universal themes is a timeless representation of the concerns and moral priorities of society and humanity, thus contributes to the textural quality and distinctiveness of her work.
This can be seen with the representation of the theme of memory and continuity. Harwood recognises that the power of memory is intrinsic to the human condition, as it is the substance of our past and the foundations of our future, and comments of its significance in her memoir, “Lamplit Presences”; “…the concept of memory illuminating not only the past but also the future is central”. Harwood explores the importance of memory in harmonising the various layers of an individual’s life and their shared experiences to bring about a wholeness that reconciles one with the finality of death. This is prevalent in the first stanza; commencing with the one the persona’s reliance to complete the vague memories of childhood, “They told me…” and, “I seem to remember…” The use of personal pronouns and the conversational tone engages the audience and involves them with what seems a deeply personal experience.

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