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Gwen Harwood is an influential Australian poet whose sonnets capture this perfectly. Her body of work features a range of poems, mostly sonnets, that show the ugly side to love, the ugly side to the happily ever after that are, more often than not, not enduring.
Challenging a range of commonly accepted ideas, such as time tested love lasting, can often be a sticky situation for both the reader and the poet; it can make the reader highly uncomfortable, as well as open the poet up to criticism.
What makes her sonnets so prominent in the Australian poetry scene? 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 Her clothes are out of date.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.
Then, nursing the youngest child, sits staring at her feet. At the end of the first stanza a male character is introduced, as someone she used to love.
This is explored more in the second stanza, with the pair amicably chatting, predominantly about the children. When you think of a park, what first springs to mind? To me, the idea of a park carries connotations of either tranquillity, or a connection to children.
This juxtaposes against the sonnet itself; the sonnet is anything but tranquil, with the bickering children, and the mother is not revelling in her role as mother, as society dictates mothers should.
By setting up connotations of a park as a symbol of relaxation and motherhood, the sonnet itself can juxtapose against the title to drive home the alternate ideologies Harwood presents.
One thing Harwood does not do in contrast with traditional ideologies is the form of the structure itself. With the form of the sonnet being so in adherence to tradition, the alternative ideologies truly take place in the topic of the poem itself.
Traditionally, sonnets are about true love, romantic notions, and happily ever afters; the kind of Romeo and Juliet, old fashioned wooing. This disillusion to romance and love is continued in the second stanza, with Harwood using descriptive language to create imagery of a romantic setting in flickering light.
While these were uncommon at the time, and certainly to the structure, the ideas are far more prevalent now, with imperfect love shown to us everyday, usually in the form of celebrity break ups; Kim Kardashian probably one of the most infamous examples, what with her seventy-two day marriage.
Another trope common to creative texts, especially in pop culture, is finding your own identity. Her life is now dedicated to loving and caring for her children; hence why her clothes are out of date.
Most people feel alone at some point in their life, whether it is isolated from people physically, such as having no friends at school, or isolated by something that makes them unusual, something that sets them apart.
Consider the issue of teenage pregnancy; who is made to feel responsible? Who is told their life is over? This extends into adulthood also; women are expected to give birth at some point, this is their job, their purpose on the Earth. For a woman to reject this, she is met with harsh criticism.
A man however, can be a bachelor all he likes with no obligation to procreate. Harwood draws upon these societal expectations, and other aspects of stereotypical femininity, to build her sonnet. A combination of these two shows that mothers should be interested in keeping up appearances; once more, Harwood presents an alternate, and possibly more realistic, viewpoint to this.
The two quotes show that the male figure is less tied down in parental roles, and is far more able to keep up appearances; yet is less required by society to do so.
It is, seemingly, a direct contradiction of the two notions; a mother is expected to raise children and keep up appearances, where as a father, or male figure, has far less obligation to do either. Suburban Sonnet She practises a fugue, though it can matter to no one now if she plays well or not.
Beside her on the floor two children chatter, then scream and fight. A pot boils over. As she rushes to the stove too late, a wave of nausea overpowers subject and counter-subject.
In her two sonnets, In the Park, and Suburban Sonnet: Boxing Day, the Australian poet Gwen Harwood uses the generic conventions of poetry to construct a central persona who, through their voice, conveys the social expectations of women in s suburban Australia. Gwen Harwood is obviously using this conventional form ironically, subverting the conventions, to show how unlike the conventional sonnet woman her female subject is. Suburban Sonnet is a poem that was written by the critically acclaimed Australian poet, Gwen Hardwood. Harwood’s poetry has recurring themes of motherhood and the stifled role of women, particularly those of young mothers and Suburban Sonnet is .
Zest and love drain out with soapy water as she scours the crusted milk.May 22, · I love Gwen Harwood, my favorite Australian poet: Suburban Sonnet by Gwen Harwood She practices a fugue, though it can matter to no one now if she plays well or not.
Beside her on the floor two children chatter, then scream and barnweddingvt.com: Resolved. Harwood subverts out expectations of a traditional love sonnet- we expect a volta but it does not occur "Suburban Sonnet" "Suburban Sonnet" by Gwen Harwood She practises a fugue, though it can matter.
Mar 05, · Gwen Harwood’s sonnets are traditionally structured with a modern twist, dragging old fashioned romantic notions kicking and screaming. The modern twist is a dark one, reflective perhaps on the state of modern society, or perhaps highlighting the ignorance and idealistic tendencies of times past.
Suburban Sonnet is a poem that was written by the critically acclaimed Australian poet, Gwen Hardwood. Harwood’s poetry has recurring themes of motherhood and the stifled role of women, particularly those of young mothers and Suburban Sonnet is .
'Suburban Sonnet' by Gwen Harwood She practises a fugue, though it can matter to no one now if she plays well or not.
Beside her on the floor two children chatter. 'Poems like "Suburban Sonnet; boxing day" only just hold on rein her irritation at playing wife and mother, at the drag of domesticity ' Ref: Vincent O'Sullivan, 'Voices from the Mirror: on Approaching Gwen Harwood', Gwen Harwood, CRNLE, Essays and Monographs Series, No.3, , p