Piano - Four Levels | The Flax-Golden Tales

David Herbert Lawrence, England (1885 – 1930)

Piano

Literal Comprehension: It was evening. A woman was playing on the piano and singing to the speaker. Her song made him think of his childhood days. When he was a little boy and would sit under the piano. The piano would make a loud unpleasant sound. He would press his mother’s feet. But she would continue playing on the piano without being disturbed and smile at her son. The speaker tried to control himself and remain with the singer in the present time. But the lady’s song was so skillful that it took him again his boyhood days. When the family would sing a religious song in their warm sitting room on Sunday evening, the piano played by his mother would guide him and other family members. Now the speaker did not like the song of the woman at all, because it had completed its task by taking him to his passed days with his mother. Therefore it sounded to him like a loud noise. He wanted to forget his present manhood and wish to become a child. After this, he wept openly like a child.

Interpretation: This poem may be trying to tell us that music takes us back to our happy past. It may also be interpreted to mean that motherly love is superior to sensual love. The attraction of childhood makes us forget our manhood. Moreover “piano” is the poem about the power of memory.

Critical Thinking: I don’t agree with the speaker because being a man he wipes openly in the presence of a woman. His pride in being a man does not allow him to do so. The poet has rightly observed that one can not be satisfy with the presents if he is reminded of happy past days.

Assimilation: This poem has helped me to understand myself better. A nostalgic feeling is equally found in human being. I have also desire to belong to my past. Sometimes I think if I were a child’ I would not have to be worried about my present difficult time.

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