Harmonium: Acidic Soil

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 7 October 2016

Harmonium: Acidic Soil

The poem harmonium examines the relationship of a father and son. I think Armitage has written this poem for parents and children as they would be able to relate to the emotions in the poem. The Author uses the Farrand Chappelette which is a type of Harmonium or small organ to help him reflect the love that he has for his father. In the first stanza the poet talks about the Farrand Chappelette which was “gathering dust” telling us that it is getting old and it was due to be taken to the skip if Armitage had not wanted it. In the final line of the first stanza Armitage declare that he could have it for a “song “ an idiom which means that he could have had it very cheap. In the second stanza the poet talks about the sunlight through the glass which could “beatify saints” in other words bless them and make them more god like and above normal people.

Armitage the contrasts this positive statement by saying it had “aged” the harmoniums case and “yellowed the fingernails of its keys”. I the last few lines Armitage tells us how the harmonium is played by telling us the organist plays it by continuously pedalling the pedals. In the 3rd stanza the poet talks about the age of the organ and how he and his father had sung there and were good singers. The 4th stanza is the most powerful one as he talks about his father coming to help pick up the harmonium and his father jokes saying that one day he will “shoulder” his father’s “dead weight meaning his coffin when he dies. Armitage finds it hard to reply to such a poignant remark because of the emotion of he feels at the thought of his father’s death.

I think the poem has a mixture of moods from the first verse to the last and moods that are very contrasting such as the first 2 stanzas are quite happy emotions about how the sun gleams through the glass and the last verse is about the emotions of his father dying. The poet uses many techniques in the poem such as metaphors for example “fingernails” describing how the sun has ruined the keys of the organ. Also the poet uses personification saying that one of the notes has “lost its tongue. In the 3rd stanza Armitage uses alliteration twice in the same line, the “hummed harmonics still struck a chord”. I think this the poet is trying to tell us that the harmonium is close to his heart even though it is old and aged and i think that “struck a chord” has a double meaning that it also triggered a memory of him singing in church which the verse then goes onto say.

I think the message of the poem is that one day your parents will die and the thought of that is not very comforting but remembering the good and bad times can help you get through this. The poem for me is written from the heart and is emotionally very overpowering and the last verse is so powerful that it makes me understand that someone close to me will die one day and I will be too shocked and late to prevent it.

When the unfortnate event of acidic soil strike some farms, plants are unable to grow. Using slakes of lime which is a base cancels out the acid in the soil. You need to check the righ amount of acidity in the soil in order to put the same amount of base so that you do not over do it and keep it neutral. This process is called NEUTRALISATION. After the lime is inserted the acidity will fade away and the plants will grow.

Farmers add lime, calcium oxide, to soil to help neutralise the soil as most plants grow best in neutral or slightly alkali soil. The lime can cancel out the acidity caused by acid rain.

In agriculture, calcium carbonate may be added to acidic soil. The calcium carbonate enters into a neutralization reaction with some of the acid in the soil water, and the soil pH becomes more basic.

In farming nitrogen oxide reacts with OH from the rain to form nitric acid which then acidifies the soil making it hard for the plants to grow. The acid stops the growth of the roots therefore the plant cannot absorb enough nutrients which makes the plant grow very slowly and sometimes turn a yellow colour due to the large amounts of acid. N02 + OH = HNO3

This is a huge problem for farmers so they spray calcium carbonate onto the acidic soil to neutralize the soil so that the pants can grow better and faster which is needed for farmers to make a better profit it and the reaction produces produces the calcium nitrate. CaCO3 + HNO3 = Ca(NO3)2 + H2O + CO2

The plants can then use these nitrate ions in the soil and combine them with glucose to make amino acids which the plant the uses for proteins which help it grow and turns the acidic soil into more nutrients for the plant which it needs to grow.


  • Subject:

  • University/College: University of Arkansas System

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Date: 7 October 2016

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