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2010 HSC Sample Response Harwoods poetry continues to engage readers through its poetic treatment of loss and

consolation. oes this statement resonate with your own interpretation! Refer to at least "#$ poems. %wen Harwoods poetry is steeped in Romantic traditions and is underpinned &y humanist concerns. 'y personal interpretation is that Harwoods poetry engages readers through its poetic treatment of loss and consolation as well as its e(ploration of uni)ersal themes a&out human e(istence and the processes of life. Harwoods poetry )alidates the consoling influence of childhood e(periences upon adult de)elopment e)ident in *+t 'ornington which e(plores one sense of loss and consolidation e(perienced in the cycle of life from &irth to death. Harwood e(plores one transitory nature of life in her lyrical poem *"he ,iolets- re)ealing the way in which memory can illustrate past e(periences that will resonate in the present offering consolation. .urthermore Harwoods poetry is characterised &y an o)er/arching e(istential 0uest for meaning and consolation as e(perienced through her e(ploration of lo)e in *+ ,alediction. #hilst the notion that Harwoods poetry engages readers through its poetic treatment of loss and consolation resonates with my own interpretation of her poems- readers are also engaged through Harwoods e(ploration of uni)ersal truisms. + contemplation of human e(istence and one way in which one cycle of life is characterised &y loss and consolation as a per)ading theme throughout Harwoods poetry. 1n *+t 'ornington pastpresent and future e(periences are united through the poems fragmented structure and poetic treatment e(periences of loss of nai)ety and consolation in order to encapsulate the cycle of life characteristic of one human e(perience. .urthermore- Harwood uses &i&lical allusions secure in my fathers arms to con)ey the uni)ersality of human e(istence- engaging the reader. "he poem &egins in the personas past with her childhood innocence and nai)ety- which is con)eyed in her &elief in her own in)inci&ility. 1 remem&er &elie)ing as a child 1 could wal2 on water. Harwoods use of &i&lical imagery e)o2es the idea of 3esus wal2ing on water and the consoling effect this had on the spea2ers childhood self- to represent her na4)e- childish outloo2. "his water imagery &ecomes a sustained motif. "he spea2er draws on the image of the flood on which memories of early childhood are &orn through a contemplati)e tone of spiritual replenishment as she stands among a)enues of the dead- engaging the reader through the poetic treatment of &oth loss and consolation. 1n accordance with the Romantic tradition- the spea2er ac2nowledges the restorati)e capa&ilities of the natural elements con)eyed in the image of a pitcher of water which &ecomes a metaphor for replenishment and re)italisation. +s the poem shifts to the present tense- the reader is further engaged as the persona finds herself in a gra)eyard and coming to terms with the death and loss of a lo)ed one. "he persona comes to a peaceful acceptance of lifes transience and her own mortality as she ac2nowledges the ine)ita&le passage of time that &rings us to that time of our li)es where our &ones wear us offering her a sense of consolation. "he poem concludes with a pro5ection into the future- with the e(istential tone no hand will sa)e me e)o2ing the realisation that death and loss is one ine)ita&le end of the cycle. Harwoods poem *+t 'ornington engages readers through its poetic treatment of loss and consolation and the way in which these themes recur throughout the cycle of life. Harwoods poems elucidate themes of memory and recollection- highlighting the way these transcend time- death and loss and e)entually offer consolation. 1n one nostalgic poem *"he ,iolets the spea2er re)isits a seminal childhood e(perience that affirms adult perspecti)es and engages the reader &y identifying the importance of memories of filial lo)e in sustaining the adult selfpro)iding consolation. "he childs na4)e 0uestion #here has morning gone! emphasises the power of dreams to distort time and e)o2es the spea2ers sense of loss. "he childs loss is countered &y the memory of her parents unconditional lo)e. "he use of en5am&ment creates a sense of

continuity as the )iolets transport the spea2er &ac2 to a time when she was lo)ingly comforted- thus continually engaging the reader. "he maternal image of the mother who dried my tearful face and the )isual image of stro2ing- golden &rown hair con)eys the tenderness of this memory. "hrough the recurring motif of the )iolets in our loamy &ed Harwood shifts &etween past and present e(periences of loss and consolation. 6iterary critic 7li8a&eth 6awson suggests identifying its a&ility to control moment s in time &y transforming consciousness of the present. "he spea2er realises that although memories are am&iguous and time can &e stolen- ultimately- as is portrayed in the personification 9ears cannot mo)e the lamplit presences of her childhood. "he poem concludes with a final natural image of the faint scent of )iolets drifts in the air con)eying the personas awareness that the memories of her parents lo)e transcends the power of death. 1n *"he ,iolets Harwoods poetic treatment of loss and consolation through the motif of the )iolets engages the reader on an emotional le)el. "he theme of lo)e and its permanent- passionate nature resonates within Harwoods poetryengaging readers through its poetic treatment of the e(periences of loss and consolation associated with lo)e. Similar to *+t 'ornington which e(presses one cycle of life and the acceptance of its ine)ita&le processes- *+ ,alediction e(presses the 5ourney of maturation through reflection that leads the spea2er from adolescent sentimentality to an appreciation of the enduring nature of lo)e. "he interte(tual reference to 3ohn onne in the poems title foreshadows the e(ploration and poetic treatment of the e(perience parting from a lo)ed one and the emotional repercussions of this loss. "he personas adolescent sentimentality is e)o2ed through her ritual of see2ing solace in her anthology of onnes poetry. "he memories of her youth are metaphorically in2ed in with aches from adolescence. Harwood e(plores the nature of lo)e in her representation of two significant female figures and it is from their contrasting reactions to their e(periences of lo)e that informs the personas more mature perception of lo)e and loss. $ne the one hand- Harwood gi)es representation Salome- whose indifference to the grand passion of lo)e is con)eyed in the flippant tone of her comment whether 1 2issed :iet8che on 'onte Sacro 1 find 1 do not now remem&er. $n the other hand- Harwood depicts Saint "herese- a nun who dedicated her life to selfless lo)e as con)eyed in the sentimental tone of her comment when 1 lo)e it is fore)er. Harwoods 5u(taposition of these womens perspecti)es on lo)e highlights the folly of &oth ideals and consolidates the personas understanding that it is rationalism and moderation that offer the most )alued appreciation of lo)e. "he personas direct address dear ladies shall we meet half way &etween sanctity and li&eration! con)eys her awareness that there should &e a &alance &etween disinterest o)ersentimentality. "he poem concludes with an idyllic scene that encapsulates the personas sense of contentment and maturity &eyond her emotional angst. let me wal2 at sunset in the pasture feeding my geese engages the reader through the poetic treatment of loss and consolation as it is associated with the theme of lo)e. 'odernist poet %wen Harwood adheres to the literary con)entions of the Romantics in her anthology of poems- employing poetical de)ices and form to gi)e e(pression to the themes of loss and consolation as well as other timeless themes. Harwood continues to engage readers through her e(ploration of uni)ersal themes of human e(istence e)ident in *+t 'ornington- *"he ,iolets and *+ ,alediction.