Gwen Harwood’s poetry presents an educated, experienced and multi-faceted exploration of human experience and suffering, one so powerful it transcends societal constraints and resonates with any reader regardless of race, age, wealth or social status. It is for these reasons that Harwood’s label as a ‘Tassie housewife poet’ is an unfair and restricting view of Harwood’s poetry. Harwood’s poems ‘The Sharpness of Death’ and ‘Triste, Triste’ are enriched with broad academic knowledge and deep contemplation of time – two things which certainly reach beyond the bounds of a simple ‘Tassie housewife’. ‘The Sharpness of Death’ is a four-part contemplation of death and its various effects on the humanity of people- one part of which draws on her broad academic knowledge on philosophy’s attempt to form an understanding of death. Need essay sample on "Gwen Harwood" ? We will write a custom essay sample specifically for you for only $/page
John Opie ’s “Eloisa, a nun”, a print of which appeared in 1793, only connects with the poem at a tangent. It features a nun rapt in contemplation, her face lit by the grated window above, who is sitting at a table on which are a bible, rosary, skull and hourglass.  It was Mary Linwood who identified her embroidered version with the passage from Pope’s poem beginning “How happy is the blameless vestal’s lot” when it was exhibited in London at the start of the 19th century.  In the poem itself, Eloisa specifically distances her own conduct from this blameless spectacle.
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