“My grandmother”, “Piano”, “At Castle Boterel” are poems which are concentrated on the main idea of ‘looking back”. All three poems are written in first person fully enabling the reader to understand the poets experiences when they are reflecting back to their past. This also helps the reader to get in touch with the emotions of the writer. The images of their past are described in a detailed way enabling the reader to experience the memory with them, showing us the value and the importance of the poet’s reflection.
The poem ‘My Grandmother’ is the only negative experience poem out of the three is .
about the poet expressing her regretful feelings to the reader about her childhood, when she didn’t spend much time with her grand mother and refused the first and last offer to go out with her. “...how I once refused to go out with her, since I was afraid”
‘Piano’ is a poem full of a warm, positive atmosphere which shows the wonderful loving and caring the poet experienced and received from his mother when he was a child. The poet looks back to the past at the time when he was protected and cared for by his mother, in a relaxing environment where there was no need to worry about anything. He misses those days now knowing that he is unable to go back..
In ‘At Castle Boterel’ the poet reflects back to the past and shares the reader the most enjoyable times he spent whilst he built a strong relationship with the most important person in his life, the person he loved. The times when they spend the day talking, climbing up the hills together were all a very precious and a special time for the poet. But now he knows that his time is approaching to an end, and knows that he will not be able to go back to those days, ever again.
Piano opens with a gentle image of “a women singing”. The women is thought to be the mother, and the way she sings “softly” and “smiles as she sings” suggests that she is warm hearted and is creating a comforting, protective atmosphere for the child. This can be read metaphorically that “in the dusk”, in total darkness where the child is completely lost, worried and searches for an exit in despair, the mother will always be there “…singing to me”, comforting him, helping him as the one tiny light giving hope and guiding him out of the eternal darkness. The child “sitting under the piano” furthers the idea of the child being protected. A piano for a child will be seen as a powerful protective figure due to its gigantic body where sometimes it creates deep, strong manlike “boom” sounds which from its existence creates a great sense of inward security, although other times it will produce soft gentle “tingling” sounds reassuring the child that there is no need to be clouded with anxiety and that he is safe to be relieved. The past for him is a very positive experience, for him everyday was the blessed “Sunday evenings at home”. Even when winter comes and tries to make their heart ice cold and blue, the sad miserable times are never noticeable when being with his mother.