To D.H. Lawrence

D.H. Lawrence,

The way that you have written your brilliant piece of work, Piano, has illuminated me into a feeling in which I have not felt much of for the most part of my life. The image that you use in the first quatrain of this poem, of a young boy sitting underneath the same piano that his mother is playing and singing by to create a sense of delight for everyone in the room, is an image of a pure, innocent memory; a memory of which I am a bit jealous of as well. After the death of my father, Nathaniel Hathorne, I was only four years of age, and my mother since has lived her life in great solarity.
In the second quatrain, you also portray this image of pleasurable Sunday evenings during the winter solstice, with your family happily singing along to church hymns. I have never felt an experience so warm, for my bride’s family were the only ones present to attend even my own wedding. In the third and final quatrain, you tell us about how you yearn for these fond memories to take place again in your life, understanding that those days are over. This has given me a sense of how enjoyable these memories are, again, and it also helps me in understanding your age and experience.
You have cleverly used the term Piano, not only as the theme of your poem, but also as the title, for piano is also a term meaning soft, or softly, like the sound of your mother’s voice, or even the faint, soft, and distant sound of her singing voice lurking around far off in your memory. I would like to glorify such work of yours, hopefully magnifying your splendid imagery to others.
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About Alex Mueller

Alex Mueller can be found running and cycling the streets and suburbs of Boston, taking long sojourns in rare book archives whenever he can. He teaches English at UMass Boston, serves as Book Review Editor for Arthuriana, and writes about digital pedagogy, open access publishing, and medieval literature.

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