Introduction & Overview of Music Lessons

This Study Guide consists of approximately 17 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Music Lessons.
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Music Lessons Summary & Study Guide Description

Music Lessons Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains For Further Study on Music Lessons by Mary Oliver.

 Mary Oliver is usually and conveniently referred  to as a New England nature or pastoral poet and thought to descend from a line of other New Eng-197-7 land pastoralist writers, from Thoreau to Robert Frost. "Music Lessons," from Oliver's third volume of poetry, Twelve Moons (1979), however, is somewhat uncharacteristic since its inspiration and situation begin in a house at a private music lesson where a teacher takes a break from teaching and plays for her probably younger student and for herself. Perhaps the poem documents a memory from Oliver's childhood.

In "Music Lessons" a teacher, perhaps growing tired with the student's fumblings or imperfections, decides to take over the keyboard. The music acts upon the student as challenge and adventure and upon the pianist as escape from domesticity and mortality. Quietly feminist and more loudly a paean to music, the title, "Music Lessons," is apropos in that the paean was, in its earliest known instance in The Iliad of Homer, a song praising and calling for Apollo, the Paian, or "healer." Apollo is the ancient Greek god of arts and civilization, and specifically, patron of music (whose instrument is the lyre which is also the name of the frame holding the strings of the piano). Music, Apollonian or otherwise, may not serve as healer of life's ills, but it does depict an act that seems to defy the duties of life and the inevitability of death—at least temporarily.

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This section contains 239 words
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Copyrights
Poetry for Students
Music Lessons from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.