Gwen Harwood Suburban Sonnet Analysis

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Gwen Harwood, an Australian well-known poet who explores the nature of life through her anthology of 'Selected Poems '. Harwood explores happiness, pain and sorrow which women especially mothers experience. She suggests that motherhood could be somewhat demanding, in the post world war era, by making one feel frustrated and burdened. Also Harwood suggests that by taking on the role of a mother, you must sacrifice your passion and career. Nevertheless, she also suggests that as one becomes a mother themselves, they slowly reflect on the beautiful memories that they had with their mothers.

Harwood explores the frustrations that mothers experience during the post-world war period. Due to the conservative society during the post 1960s,
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Harwood suggests that the role of motherhood forces one to give up their passion and careers. In the poem, 'Suburban Sonnet ', Harwood uses the pseudonym of Miriam Stone to explore the loss of identity that a mother can experience. The use of personal pronouns not only shows the loss of identity of this women, but also Harwood suggests that this is universal and is affecting many other women. The women 'who played for Rubinstein ' shows that this poem is more than a personal lament, but rather a comment on society that in order to become a mother, you must sacrifice your passion and career. The use of unpleasant imagery 'children chatter, then scream and fight ' highlights the burn and 'annoyance ' of the children. The use of enjambment, 'Zest and love/ drained out with soapy water ' emphasises the reality of motherhood and that her passion in life is slowly disappearing. Harwood highlights the fact that motherhood could put one into poverty when she says '[she will make] tasty dishes from stale bread. ' This also emphasises the difficult circumstances that she is experiencing. The use of enjambment, 'a pot/ boils over ' creates a discordant tone, making the readers feel there are many domestic duties that are required of mothers at the one time. Her life as an artistic
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