In The Park By Gwen Harwood Essay

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The poem that will be analysed is ‘In the Park’ written by Gwen Harwood. It was published in 1963, a time where it was normal for women to have children and stay home. The poem represents the ideas of memory, entrapment and loss of identity which is commonly held amongst mothers in today’s society.

Gwen Harwood was an Australian poet born in Taringa, Queensland on June 8, 1920. As a child Harwood was immersed in music, philosophy, language and religion and was introduced to poetry by her grandmother. She was born into a family of strong women that highly supported feminism and “always felt part of a long chain of independent women”. Harwood grew up in a world where men were dominant in which influenced her to publish her poems under male pseudonym. If she published the poems under ‘Gwen Harwood’ they would get rejected as a female has written it, so using a false name overtime she could publish as much
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Sonnets are commonly used for ‘love’ poems whereas ‘In the park’ is the exact opposite to that. In the first stanza we are introduced to an unknown woman sitting in park with her three children. Harwood has described the children as “two children whine and bicker, tug her skirt. A third draws aimless patterns in the dirt.” The technique of irony is used in this quote as she is referring the phrase ‘aimless patterns’ to her life. In my visual, I have incorporated black silhouettes of the characters in the poem as they are unknown and we are only being told that a mother is being destroyed by the birth of her three children. “Someone she loved once passed by- too late” this quote says how she has changed to someone who only lives because of her children. Her ex- boyfriend has been lost amongst her role as a mother and she has become some different until she meets a past lover. The theme ‘loss of identity’ is explored in this stanza because this unknown woman doesn’t know who she is anymore or how to think about being a
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