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Gwen Harwood Barn Owl Commentary

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English Commentary Barn Owl 3/6/2011 Umar Alam Barn Owl Gwen Harwood 'Barn Owl' is an intriguing text. The extract is handled with great care and Gwen Harwood uses wonderful descriptive language, as she describes the dense atmosphere created by the scenario presented. The Poem starts off with a young child waking up in the morning and exiting the house with a gun, hoping to shoot down a barn owl. However he feels the consequences of his actions after he shoots the barn owl down. As the text progresses, the setting is created with immense descriptive detail. The setting is presented in an old stable filled with straw and suspense. Vivid imagery is not visible within the text as everything is explained with great precision. This creates a heavy atmosphere of suspense and dismay. ...read more.


This shows the reaction of the child to the action he had committed. This sentence also gives us an insight on the personality of the child as it shows his sense of sympathy and empathy. Beside the occurrence of the child, the father also has a presence within the poem. The father speaks once in the poem; "End what you have begun" this changes the child understands of the responsibilities associated with power and the consequences of the misuse of this power. "Owl blind in the early sun". The symbolic description of the owl allows the audience to make a contrast between the owl and the child. The owl which is old and wise is compared to the young child who is youth and lacks of wisdom. ...read more.


The more abstract the words, the greater the risk the reader won't see what the writer intended. However I believe Harwood has made an excellent approach towards this scenario, and brings in the atmosphere with great delicacy; however the impact it creates is heavy. I find that Harwood is able to create a serious and tense atmosphere, evoking a suspenseful mood as should be the case for such an incident. Harwood very cleverly creates this mood of emotional dismay and empathy. The impact of this poem has left me with a sense of regret for the bird as it is degraded to a 'thing' due to it being so disfigured. The poem has left me with a sense of imagination disturbed by a horrible image of a dead bird. However the intention of the author was executed precisely to make the reader think and I believe Harwood has certainly achieved that intention. By:Umar Alam 11B ...read more.

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