Poet D. H. Lawrence's aim in the poem "Piano” was to convey to his readers’ the joys of childhood. The narrator in this poem talks of being transported in his mind to a time when he would sit comfortably and joyously under the piano in his home. Now a mature man, the narrator reminisces about times past when he sat under the piano “pressing the small, poised feet of a mother who smiles as she sings.”
This is a happy memory. However, this man is fighting this memory somewhat. He knows that this is a time long gone and that he cannot create this time again. It hurts him to reminisce here, so he tries to temper these memories that are welling up in him.
He knows if these memories take hold of him he will long for this time with his mother and his family once again and it will be painful as probably many of these people are not around for him to enjoy life with anymore. Therefore, it is just easier in his mind to suppress these memories.
Nonetheless, he can’t. He says that “In spite of myself, the insidious mastery of song Betrays me back,” He wants the safe, peaceful Sunday evenings of his youth and the piano and the soft hymns that were very comforting to him.
The narrator, this adult man, now gives in to this tidal wave of memories. He is crying for days of old, his childhood. Now, he is not thinking as a man does – he is thinking as a child. He is fully steeped (in his mind) in the memories of his youth. He desires this way of life again, living wonderfully with his mother as he is soothed by the piano and the voice of his mother who is happy as she embraces life fully and sings.