Piano Four Levels | The Flax-Golden Tales

Literal Comprehension: The speaker is sitting beside a woman who is singing a song to him. The woman’s song takes him back to his past. He sees himself as a child sitting beside his mother and listening to her song. He remembers the time that he passed with his mother. The Sunday evenings, hymns in the cozy parlor, and the music of piano all prove to be too glamorous to him. So, he finds the woman’s song and music to be irritating. He finds his manhood cast down in the flood of remembrance and he weeps like a child for the past.

Interpretation: This poem seems to suggest that a person’s past impressions do not go away very easily. Some of those impressions remain deeply rooted in his or her personality, and they come out any moment to disturb the person’s presence. The speaker in this poem used to listen to the song and music of his mother in his childhood. He was very much impressed by his mother’s song and music. So, when a young woman sings to attract him, the speaker remembers his childhood memory. He cares about his mother’s song with the woman. He compares his past with his present and finds the past much more glamorous. So, he weeps like a child for the past.

Critical Thinking: This poem is realistic and presents the reality of human life. It is the reality that a person’s past impressions and experiences remain deeply rooted in his or her personality. Such impressions sometimes appear in the person’s present life and it disturbs his or her present condition. However, the poem also exaggerates reality. The attraction to the opposite sex is very powerful. Nothing can distract a young male from getting attracted to a young woman. So, how can the speaker weep like a child? Shouldn’t he be attracted to the young woman? Isn’t it an exaggeration to show the speaker disregarding the young women?

Assimilation: I found this poem to be much enlightening. It enables me to realize the reality of human life. I found it convincing when the speaker wept for the past like a child. I find myself in a similar situation sometimes. I have a very pleasant memory of my past life. Sometimes that memory drags me to my past and I find it very difficult not to like to have my past. I know that I cannot get my past back. However, I wish to get it back and that makes my life very miserable. I think that the speaker’s situation is similar in this poem.

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