How do the poems ‘Piano’and ‘War Photographer’ present memories? Memories isimportant to Lawrence’s ‘Piano’ and Duffy’s ‘War Photographer’.
Lawrencepresents memories as negative, sad, delightful and treacherous. However, Duffyportrays memories as chaotic, guilt, painful and emotional. Both poets usedifferent language and structure to present their memories. Lawrence uses powerfulwords throughout the poem ‘Piano’ which create vivid and delightful imagery ofhis memories. By using the word ‘vista’ he portrays the images of the reader’sown childhood in front of his eyes so that the reader experiences the samething that he experienced. We see more imagery of memories when he says’take me back down’ into the memories of his childhood. The words ‘back down’creates imagery that growing up is similar to climbing a mountain and that thetop of the mountain is him as an adult and the bottom is him as a child. This indicatesthat he wants to remember himself as a child and wants to go back to thosememories.
Furthermore, Lawrence unfolds more memoires through the memories ofthe piano. We see this when he says ‘the boom of the tingling strings’. The onomatopoeias’boom’ and ‘tingling’ gives the reader the impression that the man in the poemis Lawrence himself, we can tell this as he is describing the piano in suchtiny detail by using the word ‘boom’ which suggests the piano is loud as itwould be to a child which demonstrates that Lawrence is writing from personalexperience. Duffy presents memories through the soldier’s presence at war. We seethis when she says “The blood stained into foreign dust”. The use of the word”stained” illustrates how the devastating memories of war will be present for along time.
This is effective because it causes the reader to convey sympathyfor the country at war. We also see this through the word “dust”. “Dust” ispresent when something is left alone for an extremely long time and she usesthis to describe the country’s quality. The word juxtaposes to “stain” which issomething that is very difficult to be removed. This creates a big effect onthe reader as they would think that the soldier’s life plays a big part in thewar and also how dust represents how life is short and should be appreciated.This indicates that the soldier’s memories are going to be with him for a longtime and that although they are upsetting its always going to be part of him.
Duffy presents memories as depressing in’War Photographer’. Duffy demonstrates this in the line “spools of sufferingset out in ordered rows”. The words “ordered rows” indicates the imagery of thegraves of hundreds of people from all around the world who fought in the world.Furthermore, the sibilance “spools of suffering” highlight the soft, sad, soulfulmemories of all the people who fought for the country.
This implies howdepressing and upsetting the memories from the war are. Similarly, Lawrencepresents memories in “piano” as depressing. We see this when he says “the insidiousmastery of song/Betrays me back”.
The word “insidious” highlights the controlthat music has over people’s minds and the immense level of sadness, emotionaland depressing memories are being triggered by simply hearing music. Inaddition to, the alliteration “Betrays me back” demonstrates that whether helikes it or not he is going back to those memories. The word “betrays” ispowerful because it suggests that Lawrence doesn’t want to go back to those depressingand upsetting memories. Both quotations contain alliteration that bring backvivid memories of the past to the poets.Fundamentally, both poems portraymemories in different ways but they each share similarities as well.
“WarPhotographer” is more violent and chaotic compared to “Piano” and “Piano” ismuch more gentle. Finally, both poets share share some of the same language toportray memories.