Compare how the poems “piano” and “at castle Boterel” portray the power of memory.

Authors Avatar

Compare how the poems “piano” and “at castle Boterel” portray the power of memory

The poems “At Castle Boterel” and “Piano” are both written about memories and have much in common.

One of the most obvious similarities is that in both poems, the poets show memory to be highly powerful, and speak of the poem as having overcome the present.

The man in “piano” shows some reluctance towards revisiting his past, but the power of memory is so great that he finds himself being dragged back in a “flood of remembrance”. The poem reads “in spite of myself” which shows he is reluctant to relive his past, and then continues “the insidious mastery of song betrays me back” which shows that the memory has reigned over his will and given him no option but to return to a time he would rather forget. the words “betrays” and “insidious mastery” bring about ideas of cunning, and presents the idea that memories can creep up on you when you are least expecting it. Use of enjambment also helps with the idea of memories being powerful, because your eyes are forced from the end of one line, back to the beginning of the next, and just as the man found the song taking him back, the enjambment is “taking” the reader back. At the beginning of the first stanza, we are taken back to the present with the words “So now it is vain for the singer to burst into clamour.” The words “burst” and “clamour” are onomatopoeic words, which inject an immediate increase in volume after the calming use of sibilance in the second stanza, and are supported by the word “appassionato”. The fact that the man considers it “vain” for take such a noise shows that it has no impact on him and creates the idea of the memory having trapped him in the past.

In “at castle Boterel” the man is more relaxed about returning to his past, but the memory is still portrayed as having much power over him. The weather plays a big part in showing this. The scene of the first stanza is set with the word “drizzle” but when the man looks at the hill which we know to be “envisages only the “dry March weather” that exists in his memory and so we see that the past has our ruled the present. The “fading byway” seems also to be referring to a fading memory, and yet as the man looks up at the slope, he sees the moment he spent with his girlfriend there so many years ago “distinctly yet” It is almost as though he has been blinded by the power of memory and this demonstrates again that memory can be powerful enough to overcome the present. The idea of the past reigning over the present is echoed in the idea that the ancient rocks, who have watched endless masses walk past them since that day, will always remember that one particular moment as being of the most importance.

Join now!

Another similarity between the two poems is that they both portray memories as being happier places. This enhances the idea of the person wanting to return to their past and therefore shows memory to be powerful because it still affects the, even after all these years.

Many aspects of the poem “Piano “ are childish, which helps the idea of the memory being happy, for many people look back on their childhood fondly, as being carefree days of innocence and joy. The poem rhymes in couplets, which is easy to spot, and therefore gives a childish feel to the ...

This is a preview of the whole essay