What Points of View Does the Poet Use in the Poem "Piano" by D.H. Lawrence?


Quick Answer

D.H. Lawrence's poem "The Piano" is told from the point of view of a man who is listening to someone play piano. The music causes the man to begin reminiscing about his childhood, and he is saddened by longing for the past.

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Full Answer

There is a second point of view, however, in this poem--a point of view within a point of view. That is the point of view of the child that the man who is telling the story once was. As the man is taken "back down the vista of years," the reader is privy to what the man heard and felt as his mother played piano. The man used to sit under the piano while the mother played and touch her feet. This is where he would listen to her sing and play. At the end of the first stanza and for the entirety of the second, the reader experiences what the man did as a child, "the old Sunday evenings at home" that the man longs for, with the family gathered around "the tinkling piano." This scene is a happy one, but in the third stanza readers are brought back to present time and the present point of view: the child grown up, now a man caught up in nostalgia who says, "I weep like a child for the past."

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