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Compare and Contrast “Piano” and “At Castle Boterel”

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2/4/02 Compare and Contrast "Piano" Andrew Milburn and "At Castle Boterel" "Piano" and "At Castle Boterel" are both poems about the past and looking back in time. The poems are both about looking back so it is very easy to relate the two. In this essay I will be looking at the many comparisons and contrasts that can be found throughout the two poems. I will look at the comparisons first of all. Both poems focus on a person's memory of the past. In "Piano" we see the speaker's memory of his childhood whereas in "At Castle Boterel" the speaker's memory is of the love he once shared with a girl, his wife. This leads onto another comparison. This is that the general themes of each poem are the same. The general themes being that both speakers talk about their relationship with a woman. Another comparison is that both poems are concerned with time and how what has happened is lost and it cannot happen again. "Piano" talks about the time when the speaker was a little boy at home. Lawrence writes, 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. ...read more.


In the final stanza of "Piano" Lawrence writes, 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. Here the speaker starts to weep and the reader is made aware of how emotional the speaker is because the past is lost. The happy times with his mother at home are gone. In the final stanza of "At Castle Boterel" Hardy writes, I look and see it there, shrinking, shrinking, I look back at it amid the rain For the very last time; for my sand is sinking, And I shall traverse old love's domain Never again. In this stanza Hardy says that time is irreversible and time has run out for him. He cannot go back to the happy times with Emma and time has moved on. He is coming to the end of his time, "And I shall traverse old love's domain never again." The first contrast that you notice is the length of the poems. "Piano" by Lawrence is only three stanzas long whereas "At Castle Boterel" by Hardy is seven stanzas long. ...read more.


This is because it is of a mother's relationship with her son. The rhyme scheme in "At Castle Boterel" is as follows, I look and see it there, shrinking, shrinking, a I look back at it amid the rain b For the very last time; for my sand is sinking, a And I shall traverse old love's domain b Never again. a The rhyme scheme here is longer and more complicated and uncommon. This is because Hardy's memories are very clear so he tells us a lot about them and so the poem is long. Hardy's memories are personal too. Whereas nearly everyone can empathise with the speaker in "Piano" not everybody knows how Hardy and Emma got on together. I thought "Piano" by Lawrence was a very moving, emotional poem about a person's relationship with their mother. It was very easy to sympathise with the speaker in the poem. I liked the poem but thought it was too over the top and gloomy. I liked "At Castle Boterel" by Hardy a lot more because it was a very detailed and the mood of the poem was very realistic for the circumstances that Hardy was in. It was very heartbreaking but it involved great use of imagery in it too. "At Castle Boterel" was my favourite poem because of these reasons. ...read more.

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