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Thread: Gwen Harwood "The Violets"

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    Senior Member Boo_'s Avatar
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    Gwen Harwood "The Violets"

    i got a speech on a gwen harwood poem, so for some reason i choose "the violets" and i need to discuss a reading of it.

    im doing a feminist reading, and i have some stuff, but need more, im getting about 2 - 2 1/2 mins for the speech but need between 4 - 5 mins.

    this is some stuff i got so far:

    When feminists read “The Violets” by Harwood, they can see clear distinctions between the female and male roles portrayed between the mother and the father. In this poem, the mother is seen as the comforter and nurturer, in the way that “she dried my tearful face as I sobbed”, where as the father is perceived as the provider and head of the household, in the way that the persona witnessed “my father, whistling, came home from work”. By having the father whistling, which is an example of onomatopoeia, it provides the father an aural immediacy to his arrival home from work, which illustrates the male dominance in society. Already it can be seen that this poem reflects the stereotypical idea of society that females belong in the home, whereas males are seen as the providers of the family, thus providing males and females an insight at where they are in the social construct. As a result, a feminist would be unimpressed so far in this poem, as it goes against every ideal a feminist fights for in the way that it imposes restrictions on what females can accomplish and undertake.

    However, a feminist can take pleasure in the idea that this poem brings out the character of the mother, which results in an aura of power about the mother. Harwood emphasises the fact that the mother is not a static character, but one that is sought out in a time of need and uncertainty, and provides a relaxed and comforting atmosphere for the persona, who is confused which is evident in them asking “Where’s morning gone?” The relaxed attitude can be seen in the way that the mother’s hair is loose, and not tied up, which is symbolic of someone letting their hair down and relaxing and being unrestricted.
    Bachelor of Engineering [Information Communication Technology -- Computer Systems], Bachelor of Business, Diploma in Engineering Practice

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    Bachelor of Engineering [Information Communication Technology -- Computer Systems], Bachelor of Business, Diploma in Engineering Practice

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    Student UWS Campbelltown Dr Long-gate's Avatar
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    Cool Re: Gwen Harwood "The Violets"

    Text Three: The Violets

    • Setting of Tasmania in dusk and cold- depressing. Could stand for own emotional state. Personifies the lowers with her own feelings and emotions. Harwood as an older woman.
    • Violets is a PERSONAL POEM, like At Mornington.
    • Lyrical Poem, very nostalgic, fond memories
    • Early Childhood setting in QLD. Positive images surrounding that time period. This happiness died when she left QLD and moved to TAS.
    • Violets are often symbols of sadness and pain.
    • Blank Verse
    • The adult is going through a dark period in her life and so looks to childhood memories, in particular the parents, for sustenance and support. “Years cannot move nor death’s disorientating scale distort those lamp lit presences”. PA, this shows that out childhood experiences are responsible for shaping our adult lives and that we gain strength from the comforting memories of our parents.
    • A huminist would interpret this parental child relationship as essential in life, and that we must rely on other humans to sustain us. A Spiritualist might allude the parents love to the love of a master such as Christ who helps the adult through periods of darkness and pain on their path to realisation.
    • The imagery throughout is pivotal when interpreting the poem in different ways. The violets are an ambiguous symbol of both beauty and transience, in that violets are short lived flowers. “Spring violets in their loamy bed”
    • From a PA perspective, “Frain melancholy flowers among ashes and loam” from the adult, juxta with the quote from the last point, from the child’s perspective, shows that The child, through innocent eyes, sees the violet’s as beautiful. The adult, matured and experiences, knows that the flower will dies. Spiritually this could be seen as a reflection of the dark times that the adult is experiencing on their road back to innocence.
    • Harwoods looks at the feeling of loss that thet chile feels when their innocence is “robbed”: “Where’s morning gone?”. The child realises that light will not always be there for her, that she must face times of darkness to grow. Her innocence is taken from her by darkness when she least expected it to. “stolen from me those hours of unreturning light”.
    • A Huminist might say that although the child’s innocence is gone, the parents are there more than ever to support her through the challenges in life. A spiritual viewpoint would see this as the beginning of the path to enlightenment: a balance between innocence and wisdom.
    • Violets portray aspects of loss, change and permanance.
    • The lyrical poem, “the Violets”, follows Harwood’s ambiguous dilemma of adulthood as she searches for comprt in fondly embellished childhood memories of Brisbane.
    • Cast into a state of shock and ‘melancholy’ when morning is ‘gone’, the persona’s childlike dependence is revealed as she seaks comfort and answers from her mother, responders with a CHR influence may see the child to being in seacrh of guidance from God.
    • A disheartening environment and mood is created by the use of setting and the closed world setting of TAS: “I kneel to pick / frail melancholy flowers”. Married life has occupied the persona’s life with depressing images, the oxymoron’s used to contrast the transient ‘violets’; which are a personification of her detrimental mentality, expresses the ambiguity of her adult life. She pursues encouragement from meories that have been exaggerated to enliven the recollectiion of her childhood innocence and naivety.
    • Single personal pronouns used in the first stanza of “the Violets” refer to the disconnection with existence Harwood feels in TAS: “While I try”. This language technique emphasised her loneliness in married life, juxt to this idea of isolation, is the warm environment of early childhood where she associates collective personal pronouns with her family to suggest comfort.
    • Violets are the cental image, theya re transient and also paradoxically permanent in some ways they are a trigger for childhood memories and Humanists would say a symbol for the parents.
    • Theme of Relationships- Explores a childs relationship with parents. Humans argue that even when gone, parents and no God, sustain the child/adult in memories. “I took my supper” faint smell of violets”. The religious would argue that God is sustaining the chile through the parents. Overall though, the poem can be seen as a rejection of God.
    • LIGHT IMAGERY- Humanists would see the light or memories of the light, “light the lamp”, as a way for the parents to provide comfort not God. “Lamp lit presences”- Parents are the beacons. CHR would see the light as parents bringing God into the dark times of the child. The light is “Ambiguous” and “unreturning” along with the “blurred darkness” These would be considered by a PA as a confused state of mind state. This imagery could also be considered by a PA as a confused mind state.
    • Violets are also a symbol of faithfulness, which is perhaps a more important issue in the poem when interpreted PS as it emphasises the bond between parent and child.
    • The indentations and paragraphing has a purpose to employ juxtaposition, connecting past with present with paragraphs to create a further division between the phases of child and adult. A Feminist may interpret this as a demonstration of independence.
    This is from Bored of Studies.

    If it also interests you Mitchelton (where, remarkably, I used to live) used to be a small cosy town but has now evolved into a hub.

    You may want to use this if you talk about continuity (or the lack thereof).

    Dr Long-gate
    Last edited by Dr Long-gate; 7 Aug 2007 at 9:04 PM. Reason: Freaking code screw-up

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    Student UWS Campbelltown Dr Long-gate's Avatar
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    Re: Gwen Harwood "The Violets"

    Hope it helped.

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    Re: Gwen Harwood "The Violets"

    Really good info thanks.

    Just a question, did you notice that the guy was asking for this back in '05? :rofl: no offense.

    Again cheers.

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    Student UWS Campbelltown Dr Long-gate's Avatar
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    Wink Re: Gwen Harwood "The Violets"

    Yea, I noticed just after I posted and I totally hit myself over the head.

    But still it's probably good to have it there i case anyone else needs it.

    :rofl:

    Dr Long-gate.
    Last edited by Dr Long-gate; 30 Nov 2007 at 1:59 PM.
    My brain is imploding!

    Oh yeah...and dramione rocks!


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    Re: Gwen Harwood "The Violets"

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Long-gate View Post
    Text Three: The Violets

    • Setting of Tasmania in dusk and cold- depressing. Could stand for own emotional state. Personifies the lowers with her own feelings and emotions. Harwood as an older woman.
    • Violets is a PERSONAL POEM, like At Mornington.
    • Lyrical Poem, very nostalgic, fond memories
    • Early Childhood setting in QLD. Positive images surrounding that time period. This happiness died when she left QLD and moved to TAS.
    • Violets are often symbols of sadness and pain.
    • Blank Verse
    • The adult is going through a dark period in her life and so looks to childhood memories, in particular the parents, for sustenance and support. “Years cannot move nor death’s disorientating scale distort those lamp lit presences”. PA, this shows that out childhood experiences are responsible for shaping our adult lives and that we gain strength from the comforting memories of our parents.
    • A huminist would interpret this parental child relationship as essential in life, and that we must rely on other humans to sustain us. A Spiritualist might allude the parents love to the love of a master such as Christ who helps the adult through periods of darkness and pain on their path to realisation.
    • The imagery throughout is pivotal when interpreting the poem in different ways. The violets are an ambiguous symbol of both beauty and transience, in that violets are short lived flowers. “Spring violets in their loamy bed”
    • From a PA perspective, “Frain melancholy flowers among ashes and loam” from the adult, juxta with the quote from the last point, from the child’s perspective, shows that The child, through innocent eyes, sees the violet’s as beautiful. The adult, matured and experiences, knows that the flower will dies. Spiritually this could be seen as a reflection of the dark times that the adult is experiencing on their road back to innocence.
    • Harwoods looks at the feeling of loss that thet chile feels when their innocence is “robbed”: “Where’s morning gone?”. The child realises that light will not always be there for her, that she must face times of darkness to grow. Her innocence is taken from her by darkness when she least expected it to. “stolen from me those hours of unreturning light”.
    • A Huminist might say that although the child’s innocence is gone, the parents are there more than ever to support her through the challenges in life. A spiritual viewpoint would see this as the beginning of the path to enlightenment: a balance between innocence and wisdom.
    • Violets portray aspects of loss, change and permanance.
    • The lyrical poem, “the Violets”, follows Harwood’s ambiguous dilemma of adulthood as she searches for comprt in fondly embellished childhood memories of Brisbane.
    • Cast into a state of shock and ‘melancholy’ when morning is ‘gone’, the persona’s childlike dependence is revealed as she seaks comfort and answers from her mother, responders with a CHR influence may see the child to being in seacrh of guidance from God.
    • A disheartening environment and mood is created by the use of setting and the closed world setting of TAS: “I kneel to pick / frail melancholy flowers”. Married life has occupied the persona’s life with depressing images, the oxymoron’s used to contrast the transient ‘violets’; which are a personification of her detrimental mentality, expresses the ambiguity of her adult life. She pursues encouragement from meories that have been exaggerated to enliven the recollectiion of her childhood innocence and naivety.
    • Single personal pronouns used in the first stanza of “the Violets” refer to the disconnection with existence Harwood feels in TAS: “While I try”. This language technique emphasised her loneliness in married life, juxt to this idea of isolation, is the warm environment of early childhood where she associates collective personal pronouns with her family to suggest comfort.
    • Violets are the cental image, theya re transient and also paradoxically permanent in some ways they are a trigger for childhood memories and Humanists would say a symbol for the parents.
    • Theme of Relationships- Explores a childs relationship with parents. Humans argue that even when gone, parents and no God, sustain the child/adult in memories. “I took my supper” faint smell of violets”. The religious would argue that God is sustaining the chile through the parents. Overall though, the poem can be seen as a rejection of God.
    • LIGHT IMAGERY- Humanists would see the light or memories of the light, “light the lamp”, as a way for the parents to provide comfort not God. “Lamp lit presences”- Parents are the beacons. CHR would see the light as parents bringing God into the dark times of the child. The light is “Ambiguous” and “unreturning” along with the “blurred darkness” These would be considered by a PA as a confused state of mind state. This imagery could also be considered by a PA as a confused mind state.
    • Violets are also a symbol of faithfulness, which is perhaps a more important issue in the poem when interpreted PS as it emphasises the bond between parent and child.
    • The indentations and paragraphing has a purpose to employ juxtaposition, connecting past with present with paragraphs to create a further division between the phases of child and adult. A Feminist may interpret this as a demonstration of independence.

    This is from Bored of Studies.

    If it also interests you Mitchelton (where, remarkably, I used to live) used to be a small cosy town but has now evolved into a hub.

    You may want to use this if you talk about continuity (or the lack thereof).

    Dr Long-gate

    i love you.

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    Re: Gwen Harwood "The Violets"

    Quote Originally Posted by ongitsanjali View Post
    i love you.
    Diddo.

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