Gwen Harwood

(8 June 1920 – 4 December 1995 / Taringa, Queensland)

In The Park - Poem by Gwen Harwood

She sits in the park. Her clothes are out of date.
Two children whine and bicker, tug her skirt.
A third draws aimless patterns in the dirt
Someone she loved once passed by – too late

to feign indifference to that casual nod.
“How nice” et cetera. “Time holds great surprises.”
From his neat head unquestionably rises
a small balloon…”but for the grace of God…”

They stand a while in flickering light, rehearsing
the children’s names and birthdays. “It’s so sweet
to hear their chatter, watch them grow and thrive, ”
she says to his departing smile. Then, nursing
the youngest child, sits staring at her feet.
To the wind she says, “They have eaten me alive.”


Comments about In The Park by Gwen Harwood

  • Lucy James (2/4/2016 12:08:00 AM)

    Harwood is presenting a critical perspective on the expectations placed on women in a culture based on patriarchal values. Her 'housewife' poems, Blue Sappho, In the Park and Suburban Sonnet comment on the inequity of genders in the 1950s/60s and how women were entrapped in the domestic sphere. (Report) Reply

    4 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Geoffrey Fafard Geoffrey Fafard (10/7/2015 2:10:00 AM)

    This is good no fantastic writing.A whole life gone by in a few lines…and in the end whoosh a stinging stand alone line..You can read it and reread it..it loses no punch and leaves you contemplating the whole cycle.Just love it. (Report) Reply

    Jason Bourne (7/18/2016 11:45:00 PM)

    its a great poem you idiot, learn how to recognise real poetry you illiterate scum!

  • Briony Nicholls Briony Nicholls (6/3/2015 9:30:00 AM)

    A poem that powerfully evokes feeling in quite a visual way. (Report) Reply

  • Red Red (3/5/2015 12:48:00 AM)

    For me this was thought provoking and sad though powerful. The last line was a whammy Gwen and I only hope this is not based on experience. (Report) Reply

  • Birgitta Abimbola Heikka Birgitta Abimbola Heikka (1/3/2015 9:01:00 PM)

    Nicely-written poem about the mundane things in life. Don't quite agree with the last line. (Report) Reply

    Jason Bourne (7/18/2016 11:42:00 PM)

    your not meant to agree with it you illiterate fool

  • Maya Hanson (1/4/2014 10:51:00 AM)

    I love this! not the sort of thing i usually read though...thank you poem of the day program :)
    ~mye3 poet (Report) Reply

  • Jamie Dewyer (1/3/2013 3:57:00 AM)

    wow, that is a great poem

    love is sacrifice, the ones you love the most, destroy you almost (Report) Reply

    Jason Bourne (7/18/2016 11:46:00 PM)

    nobody wants your stupid opinion

Read all 10 comments »



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Poem Submitted: Sunday, August 3, 2008

Poem Edited: Monday, December 5, 2011


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