Written in 1918 by D.H. Lawrence, the poem “Piano” uses first person point of view with the poet as the narrator recalling about the past as a fully grown adult. Nostalgia is the center of the poem with the title ‘Piano’ serving as a metaphor for it.
The poem sets off at one evening where two persons a man and a woman are sitting in a room. The woman who is a singer and a pianist is singing and playing the piano softly for the poet (who is the other person in the room). Her song takes the poet back to his early childhood period where he sees himself as a small child sitting under the piano as his mother sings. His mother undisturbed smiles at him and continues playing the piano as he presses her feet.
The poem continues as the poet mentions that he knows that it is just a romantic past and wants to live in present facing the reality. However, he can’t control himself regardless of how hard he tries as her skillful piano tone and sweet song is hard to resist for him. It takes him back to his boyhood this time. He mentions that it is very cold outside as its winter and he is in his warm and comfortable room. All his family members are together as well this Sunday evening singing hymns while being guided by the piano.
In the third stanza, the poet doesn’t want to listen to the music anymore and considers the woman’s song to be shout. This is so because the music has done its task which is to take the poet back to his happy past where he wants to be lost with those happy memories and forget about the present completely. He doesn’t find her music sweet anymore and says is a waste for her to play the piano with deep feeling.
Happy with his childhood memories, he doesn’t want to be a man anymore. He beings to cry like a child for the past as he throws his manhood.
Have a question? Ask us in our discussion forum.