How does Les Murray's "The Widower in the Country" convey ideas about change?

Essay by sunshine_angelHigh School, 11th grade February 2005

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In "The Widower in the country", change is conveyed in many ways. The poem shows that change can bring a life of isolation and loneliness. The poem also shows how change is not always embraced and how we should not lead a life with a lack of change.

The title of the poem, the widower in the country immediately gives the reader the impression of an individual in a vast area. This lets the readers know that the widower is alone and isolated. Already, the reader already feels sympathy for the widower, not only because he has lost his wife, but he now lives alone in a vast and empty area.

In the first stanza, the first line, "I'll get up soon, and leave my bed unmade", shows how the persona leads a life that is monotonous and repetitive each day. There is a certainty and reluctance in his tone and it seems as though he now has no reason to make his bed, as he is lonely and there is no one who will see the bed even if it was made.

At the end of the stanza, "For I get up late now", the word "now" has been deliberately placed to show how the widower has changed his behaviour.

In the second stanza, the personification of "Christmas paddocks, aching in the heat", imitates the personas own feelings, and the words "aching in the heart" look like aching in the heart, which is what the persona feels like, as he has lost his wife. Christmas is also usually a time for family gathering, and this highlights how change has caused the widower to lead a life of loneliness and isolation. This stanza is also filled with negative imagery and mundane activities- "The windless trees, the nettles in the...