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"In The Park" by Gwen Harwood

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Title: Confronting Reality "In the Park" Original Sonnet: Gwen Harwood - "In the Park": She sits in the park. Her clothes are out of date. Two children whine and bicker, tug her skirt. A third draws aimless patterns in the dirt Someone she loved once passed by - too late to feign indifference to that casual nod. "How nice" et cetera. "Time holds great surprises." From his neat head unquestionably rises a small balloon..."but for the grace of God..." They stand a while in flickering light, rehearsing the children's names and birthdays. "It's so sweet to hear their chatter, watch them grow and thrive, " she says to his departing smile. Then, nursing the youngest child, sits staring at her feet. To the wind she says, "They have eaten me alive." 1. Paraphrase: A woman sits in the park with her three children playing around her. She is not well dressed and feels a bit outdated. An ex-lover walking in the park stops to converse with her, being critical that her life is now burdened with children. ...read more.


3. Emotional Elements: The reader can find added meaning in "but for the grace of God" (8), which really refers to her ex-lover thinking that he is happy not to be in the situation of having three children to raise. Also, the meaning coming from "They have eaten me alive"(14), sums up the emotion of this sonnet; having to be responsible for the raising of her three children, has added a toll on her once young charming life, and her beautiful body. There is no sound in this sonnet, and there is little influence and excitement coming from the rhyme and meter. 4. Rational Elements: Harwood makes use of imagery to project the woman in her sonnet. "Her clothes are out of date" (1), gives the reader an image that this woman is not wearing the latest fashion, and not able to financially obtain the wardrobe that she once had. Another sign of imagery is "From his neat head unquestionably rises a small balloon" (7-8), which Harwood uses to relate this to the woman being able to read the thoughts of her ex-lover. ...read more.


This form is unique and is odd, as she breaks up a sentence in the fourth line of the first stanza, carrying the sentence over to the first line in the second stanza. Hawood does use rhyme adhering to the Petrarchan rule, which I have mentioned above my basic element answer. The poet also has deviated from the 10 syllable rule, and used 12 syllables in the first and last lines of the third stanza. 7. Thinking Like a Poet: In a sonnet I expect there will be 14 lines, and a rhyme that can follow one of the sonnet schemes. A sonnet will be able to relate to nature, human life, or human emotions. A love theme is often what I would expect to find in a sonnet. Compared to a haiku, a sonnet is a masterpiece in expression. The haiku, with its 3 lines is sending a picture and message, that a sonnet can expand on, and beautifies with rhyme and meter in 14 lines. The sonnet is more emotional than the haiku, and has more methods that can be used to elaborate words that flow into a beautiful love poem for the reader. ...read more.

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