• Softly, in the dusk, a woman is singing to me;
  • Taking me back down the vista of years, till I see
  • A child sitting under the piano, in the boom of the tingling strings
  • And pressing the small, poised feet of a mother who smiles as she sings.
  • In spite of myself, the insidious mastery of song
  • Betrays me back, till the heart of me weeps to belong
  • To the old Sunday evenings at home, with the winter outside
  • And hymns in the cosy parlour, the tinkling piano our guide.
  • So now it is vain for the singer to burst into clamour
  • With the great black piano appassionato. The glamour
  • Of childish days is upon me, my manhood is cast
  • Down in the flood of remembrance, I weep like a child for the past.

D.H. Lawrence (1885–1930) was the son of a poor, hard-working British coal miner and a mother who cherished literature and education. His novels, often more explicitly sexual than the times permitted, were highly controversial, though he is now considered one of the major British novelists of the 20th Century. His final novel, Lady Chatterley’s Lover, was banned in England until 1960. A poet and painter as well as a fiction writer, Lawrence lived with his wife Frieda in Italy, Germany, and New Mexico, battling illness much of his life. “Piano” is one of his most admired and anthologized poems.

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Comments

nan shartel May 30, 2012 @ 7:26 p.m.

i am inevitably touched by the iconic delicacy and remembrances in this poem...i love D H Lawrence's fictional work and now find i'm enamored by this poem too

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