The poem Piano, by D. H. Lawrence describes his memories of childhood. Hearing a woman singing takes him to the time when his mother played piano on Sunday evenings. In the present, this woman is singing and playing the piano with great passion. However, the passionate music is not effecting him, because he can only think about his childhood rather than the beauty of the music that exists in his actual space.
?A woman is singing? softly to the speaker ?in the dusk.? The speaker is describing the place he is at in the present moment. It?s partially dark, and a woman is singing to him. As he listens to the woman?s soft voice, he remembers the time when he was little. He says that it is taking him ?back down the vista of years,? till he sees ?a child sitting under the piano.? This child is the speaker.
The child is ?sitting under the piano, in the boom of the tingling strings,? and he is ?pressing the small, poised feet of a mother who smiles as she sings.? When the speaker was a child, he used to be under the piano where the strings were tingling since his mother was playing the piano. He used to press his mother?s feet, which were in balance. His mother was singing with a smile on her face.
The speaker sees this scenery in his mind. As a reader, I can even imagine him standing in a dark room looking at a woman singing and imagining his old days with his mother. Using the picturesque words such as ?softly,? ?dusk,? ?tingling,? and ?poised? describe the scene very clearly. As he sees the woman singing while she plays the piano, he begins to picture himself under the piano when he was little, and he pictures his mother singing while he was under that piano. This scenery is very pleasant and happy. A child is under his mother, he is touching her feet. This shows how his childhood must have been, and the readers can see the reason why he wants to go back to his childhood.
In the next four lines of the poem, the speaker talks about how he feels as he imagines his childhood. Even though he is in front of this woman who is singing and playing music, ?in spite of? himself, his present state, this ?insidious mastery of song betrays? the speaker back ?till? he ?weeps? to go back to his childhood. The guileful dominance of the song the woman is singing beguiles him to think about his past experience. His heart ?weeps to belong to the old Sunday evenings at home.? He really misses the time when he was little, and he used to hear his mother playing piano every Sunday evening. He wants to go back to his childhood and belong to that time again.
He describes the atmosphere at that time. It was ?winter outside and hymns in the cozy parlor, the tinkling piano our guide.? He is adding more description to the scenery he was imagining in the first four lines of the poem. It?s ?old Sundays,? because this is when he was little, so he is emphasizing the old times by using the word, ?old? in front of ?Sundays? to describe that he is not talking about present Sundays. The time of the day is ?evenings,? so it is about the same time as he is right now. It is winter, and the music is played at a ?cozy parlor.? By using the words, ?Tinkling piano,? the music the speaker guides listeners through their experience.
In the last four lines, the speaker is back to the present time. He says, ?so now it is vain for the singer to burst into clamor with the great black piano appassionato.? Since he can only think about his childhood memories, it is useless for the singer to uproar with the passionate piece that she is playing with the ?great black piano? since he is not even going to be able to care about the music she is playing. He says, ?the glamour of childish days is upon me.? The charm and romance of his childhood controls over his manhood. He uses words, ?childish days,? which mean childhood. Therefore, his ?manhood is cast down in the flood of remembrance.? He wants to go back to his childhood. He misses it. He weeps ?like a child for the past.? Since his childhood controls over his manhood, he loses his state of mind as a man, and goes back to his childish mind as if he is a child. His mind wants to go back to his childhood, and his mind already turned into a child, so he weeps like a child to go back to the past.
D. H. Lawrence rhymed every end of the first and the second line, as well as the third and the fourth line. This adds a musical rhythm to the poem when readers read the poem. Also, because the title of this poem is Piano it makes the reader think about rhythm and sound. Overall, this poem is artistic. It has artistic sounds and scenery. He describes scenes with detailed and artistic words. His hope to go back to his childhood is very nostalgic, and this adds to the artistic side in the poem.