PIANO
by D.H Lawrence




SOFTLY, in the dusk, a woman is singing to me
eTaking me back down the vista of years, till I see
A child sitting under the piano, in the boom of the tingling strings
And pressing the small, poised feet of a mother who smiles as she
sings

In spite of myself, the insidious mastery of songs
Betrays me back, till the heart of me weeps to belong
To the old Sunday evenings at home, with winter outside
And hymns in the cosy parlour, the tinkling piano our guide.


So now it is vain for the singer to burst into clamour
With the great black piano appassionato. The glamour
Of childish days is upon me, my manhood is cast
Down in the flood of remembrance,
I weep like a child for the past.


DESCRIPTION:
No
Literary Devices
Examples
1
Imagery
The poem provides two clear images of women playing a piano; one a mother to a child, the other an adult to an adult. The poet provides clear word pictures, especially of the cosy scene in the parlour on a musical winter’s evening
2
Metaphor
piano here represent the nostalgia of the piano in his childhood.


Memory is compared vista - The visual percept of a region


Poised
3
Symbol
In spite of myself [symbolizes masculinity]
4
Simile
I weep like a child - The image brings upon childhood pain. Something everyone can remember.
5
Personification
till the heart of me weeps to belong- the heart is given a human quality
6
Onomotopeia
in the boom of the tingling strings
7
Metonymy
feet represent the speaker’s mother.
8
Paradox
The music played so powerfully in the present, draws the listening speaker back into the past. The more the performer tries to appeal to the speaker, the more he loses focus in the present. As the piano reaches its climax ‘appassionato’, the speaker is ironically flooded in remembrance.
9
Alliteration
The ‘b’ in ‘betrays me back’ emphasises the sense of helpless guilt experienced by the speaker as memory begins to dominate. The repeating ‘p’ sound in the fourth line of the first stanza highlights the contact between son and mother and the rhythm of the piano playing.
10
Assonance
The repeating long ‘o’ sounds of the first two lines of the last stanza show the musical climax of the singer’s performance. The repeated ‘i’ sounds in ‘smiles as she sings’ create the facial effects of a smile as one reads those lines.
11
Repetition
The piano is repeated in each stanza. The word ‘tinkling’ is nearly a repetition of ‘tingling’. The repetition of ‘weeps’ emphasises the speaker’s emotional need for his mother, even though she is dead. ‘Appassionato’ echoes ‘boom’.


RHYME SCHEME

me -- see :: aa

springs -- sings :: bb

songs -- belongs :: cc

outside -- guide :: dd

clamour -- glamour :: ee

cast -- past :: ff