15th October 2017

Reading response #6

  • Text type: Short
  • Title: What Does The Glass Reveal 
  • Author: Janice Canerdy 

The poem “What Does The Glass Reavel” by Janice Canderny gives a strong perception of how we sometimes lose ourselves, how, as humans, we are constantly changing. The poem portrays the image of growing up and losing our spark. The poem opens with “in searching for my younger self one day, (the present one was getting hard to bear)” portrays immediately how the author is feeling and the inner struggles she is facing. In the line “It really wasn’t wrinkles on my face or graying hair that made me look away. My smile had changed from bright and genuine, to faded”. The poem suggests that it’s not so much what is on the outside that indicates change but the “lacklustre smile” and inner values. The poet talks of “glass reflections” that “change, revealing joy but also showing wear” and then goes on the explain her gratitude for her “inner peace and changes wrought  by time”. I think this poem communicates important ideas and reminds us that although our body is ageing and “glass reflections change”,the knowledge we gain from time is worth the wear. This poem is a reminder to not cry because its over but smile because it happens. As the author describes looking through old polaroids she finds herself comparing her “now” figure to the girl in the pictures. By ending the poem on a note of gratification it gives the impression that she is aware of her feelings and envies her past but is thankful she has memories to smile for.

I can relate to the author through my families experiences. My mum often speaks of how life is about learning and growing, she is now 50 and recently my parents split. Mum believes if she had as much  knowledge as she did now when she was 20, her life would be a lot different. Although she realises you have to go through experiences in order to learn things. When I look back at family photos of my family together when I was younger it makes me envious of that time but also makes me smile. Like the author, I feel lucky to have had those memories with my family and understand growing up is about growth which cannot occur without change. I believe many people in our world experience these feelings and reading the text can help to bring our awareness to where we feel lost.

I noticed similarities between “Ozymandias” and “What Does The Glass Reveal” both poems reflect on the past and accept the present. In “Ozymandias” the author describes a once great king and then reflects on the present, stating the circumstances of the statue. Much like “What Does The Glass Reveal” the current state of the statue is worse than the past state, communicating that we always believe things used to be better or will be in the future and we avoid living in and appreciating the “now”.


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About Fiona

Born in Christchurch, One of New Zealand's children, dweller of the south island, I enjoy being called Fi, thanks. Spelling needs work. Yep. Nice.