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Harwood contemplates the principle commonalities of the human experience of life and death
though her imitate depth of memories, demonstrating the influence of the past to irrevocably
inform the individual within the present. Resonating in the traditions of the Romantic movement,
Harwood entwines nature and childhood to contemplate attitudes towards the impermanence of
life in At Mornington, the passage of time in Mother who gave me life and the visceral longing
to escape the corporal world inspired by transcendent biblical allusions in Triste, Triste. Harwood
presents a great spectrum of human emotion of dreams, pain, memories, love and grief which
constitutes the reality concerning life which is perhaps, not always composed of happiness but also
melancholy. In addition, her attention to the binaries of life and death, love and sorrow, Harwood
draws the audience to delve deeper into the human experience, which offers psychological growth
through introspection and achieves an individual self awareness of the temporal.
Harwood ruminates on the distinct fear and apprehensions towards death, and potrays the potential
for specific memories to transform these discourses into a genuine appreciation for the dichotomous
human condition, in which they represent. In At Mornington, the essence of the past is preserved
in memories- explicitly fragmented and illusive childhood memories of believing... I could walk on
water. The child articulated logic in the repetition of the next wave, the next wave, authenticates
the child persona and celebrates the simplicity and hopefulness frame of life impermeable darkness
of life. The impossibility of walking on the water reveals the futility of attempting to surpass the
unyielding boundaries of the corporal, suggestive of a punishable claim to divinity. Instead Harwood
presents collective humanity through the simile as a doll among rattling shells, referring to the
actual lack of autonomy towards the cyclic nature of life and death. However the juxtaposition of
refined memory of adulthood and disillusionment of childhood, reveals the powers of formative
memories that support Harwoods ambition that does not strive to refuse the finality of death, but
rather finds pathways to finally accept the waters that bear me away for ever. This ultimate self
awareness is signalled though the benevolent images of her fathers arms- becoming representative
of the boundaries of life as the naive child leapt from my fathers arms, concluding with the
persona secure in my fathers arms. Furthermore this pivotal point allows the persona to
overcome the impression of death laughed at the hollow pumpkin rendering it to an extent-
conquerable. The subdued atmosphere reflects a resignation to the transience of time, and a
redirection of perspective to the beauty of nature that mirrors the resilience of humanity despite
impending mortality airy defiance of nature/- a parable of myself. Climaxing with a mirage of
memories that is a testimony to the human experience as maturity permeates a subjective
perception of life that selectively dismisses death though the beauty of the ephemeral.
Harwood contemplates the various pathways to transcend the inevitably of time and decay; reveries
sexual experience as a conduit for spiritual release. Her connotation to biblical allusions of Jesus
resurrection effectively communicates the metaphysical ideas contained in Triste, Triste. The
poem begins the metonym descriptions of the corporal "eyes against shoulder keep", used to
validate the superiority of a transcendent state comparative to the confining physical body. The
heart is however, is exempt; instead it is personified as a tether between the spiritual and "prison
of the physical realm. It also designates a focal movement of the poem as "risen spirit walks to
Easter light," with the intentionally use of 'walk' to reveal the blurring of realities in which the
persona is transitioning into the spiritual world "away from its tomb of bone" to the 'light'.
Furthermore the interplay of light and darkness throughout the poem enhances binary tones of

ecstasy and agony as the persona is torn between the irreconcilable spiritual and physical
existences- "heart from its prison cries/ to the spirit walking above." Coinciding with the "spirit's light
dispelled" the persona reverently returns to the physical, suggesting that the spiritual realm cannot
be indefinite subterfuge. In this way, Harwood employs direct speech to address the audience the
longing to transcend the inevitability of death and feelings of uncertainty of the unknown
"remember your promise of paradise." The personas allegorical journey prompts them to seek
"mortal comfort" though human connections, that becomes a restoring faculty to emulate
experiences of transcendence.
In Mother who gave me life Harwood portrays the intrinsic presence of love as an evocative force
that enriches and shifts the impenetrable mysteries of life into the periphery. With allusions to death
pervading the poem, the ward door of heavy glass symbolises the universality of death through
the transparency of glass. However abundant images of evolution and life with feminine overtones
monkey bosom, lemur breast, counter deaths conclusiveness with the dynamic continuum of life.
Furthermore, definite representations of time as thresholds of ice, rock, fire, bones is juxtaposed
with enigmatic allusions to space, encompasses external forces surpassing human intervention. At
the same instance, Harwood contradicts her impression of times malleability with the natural
phenomena of Halleys Comet paralleled to her mothers life. The tragic paradox reveals the powers
and limits of the individual whom is able to able to reduce the power of time innately, yet realises
that the same cannot be done in reality I prayed you would live to see Halleys Comet a second
time. Though death is a preset of life, Harwood gives the audience hope through alternative
attitudes that alleviate existential anxieties especially in the intimate display of parental love
somehow, smooth to a smile. The sibilance encourages a serene ambiance that enhances the
significance of remembered hours with motherhood is exemplary in demonstrating the
development of definitive experiences that lead to intuitive appreciation of life and poignant
humility towards death.
Harwood composes poetry that chronicle experiences with interrelated themes and explorations of
time and place. With her depictions of memories becoming interchangeable with suspended realities
of the past and present and interconnects impending future despite iridescent, fugitive nature.
Harwoods extensive exploration of ambivalent notions of life ironically become more concrete for
human comprehension- as thought and imagination translates otherwise intangible concepts into
relatable experiences that explicitly calls to the deeper human understanding. The inextricable nexus
between poet and poem informs universal themes though dream and memories that encourages
the audience to adopt them as their own so they too may reach a level of understanding of the
mysteries of life. Furthermore, Harwoods poems become an allegorical enactment of the
multifaceted human progress towards a harmonious coexistence with uncontrollable forces though
abstract reality imbued with love, companionship and memory.