Bother and Harmonium

Jonah Dusauzay Harmonium and Brothers The most obvious similarity of Harmonium and Brothers is that they have no rhyme scheme, which is a very common practice in contemporary poems and makes the writing feel less restrictive and much more human.

In the two poems the description of the relationship is actually explained at the final stanza while the previous stanza appears to set the scene and happen to reflect the speakers thoughts, such as how the harmonium in Harmonium has ‘soft wood case’ and ‘yellow the fingernails of its keys’ which is actually explaining the son’s deep down worries of how his father is slowly ageing Harmonium appears to have a somewhat nostalgic and worried tone compared to Brothers more regretful tone this is due to the narrator in Harmonium appearing to be struggling to come to terms with the fact that his father will eventually leave him, and when his father does point this out ‘he is too starved of breath’ which shows both the closeness of the relationship and the love the narrator has for his father. Brothers is a complete opposite of this, with the poem being written in second person it makes the narrator appear to be reflecting on the past; there is a sense of deep regret in the writing also, as the writer explains how he is unable ‘to close the distance. I’d set in motion’ which may reflect the narrator recalling a childhood memory about his brother that he is now estranged from.

Both in Harmonium and Brothers the use of imagery is prevalent, in Brothers the use of imagery is shown from the start with the way the narrator describes how he is ‘Saddled’ with his younger brother , which makes the reader appear resent the fact that he has to be with him. The use of imagery in Brothers is also used to reflect the characters contrasting emotions through the choice of verbs, were the younger brother ‘skipped’ and is ‘spouting six year old views’ shows the jubilance and enthusiasm of being with his older brother, yet the older brother ‘sighs’ and ‘strolls’ showing he is quite annoyed and irritated of his brothers presence.

Harmoniums use of imagery is more metaphorical than Brothers, it is used to reflect the past with the intricate details of the harmonium being described as having ‘smokers fingers’ and how the ‘organists feet’ has worn down the ‘treadles’ showing an association with the past and a possible longing for it , so that he can have more time with his father . Harmonium and Brothers both have an overriding theme of inevitability, with the worry the son has in Harmonium of his father dying and in Brothers the inevitability of the two brother drifting apart is shown by how the narrator is ‘unable to close the distance. I’d set in motion’ which is due to the fact the narrator is three years older than his brother and seems to choose his friends over his own sibling.

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