In The Blue Poem Analysis

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Loss is an experience unique to each individual and James McAuley and Gwen Harwood explore this in their poems “Pietà” and “In the Park”. The free verse “Pietà” bears witness to the physical loss a father endures on the anniversary of his son’s death, while in contrast, the sonnet “In the Park” explores the loss of self-identity that a mother feels in her role as a parent. The physical loss that accompanies the death of a loved one is depicted in “Pietà” when the narrator recounts how his son came metaphorically “Early into the light” of life, “Then died” one year prior. By accepting the part that death plays in one’s life, he acknowledges that “no one (is) to blame” for the loss, however, this resignation does not console his anguish. Just as he is consumed by his grief, so too is the mother in Harwood’s narrative but her pain stems from a loss of self-identity due to motherhood. Set in a park, the poet introduces a mother whose “clothes are out of date”. It is evident to the reader that she lacks connectedness with her surroundings, as she listens to two of her children onomatopoeically “whine and bicker” and watches another “draw aimless patterns in the dirt”. In contrast, however, McAuley’s father figure is not detached from his surroundings but feels a…show more content…
James McAuley and Gwen Harwood’s poems employ metaphor, symbolism and imagery to express the isolation felt by those who suffer loss. In “Pietà” a father is experiencing the physical loss of a loved one, whilst in “In the Park” a mother is suffering from the loss of self-identity as a result of motherhood. Both poets employ poetic techniques to convey the unique experience of loss catered to each individual. McAuley’s intent is to highlight that although mothers grieve, so too do fathers, whereas, Harwood’s intent is to address the role of motherhood in a realistic
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