A Critical Introduction to the Poems of Thomas Hardy by Trevor Johnson

By Trevor Johnson

An research of quite a number Hardy's poems, together with love poems, poems approximately rules, humans and locations and approximately seasons and animals. The poems are grouped through topic and the textual content used for the poems is from Dr James Gibson's "Thomas Hardy: the entire Poems". each one set of poems is by means of an research of the poems. the writer has written a number of different books approximately Hardy and his poems, together with "Thomas Hardy" (1968) and "Thomas Hardy: An Annotated analyzing record" (1974).

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No beseeming abode I can try Hardy's Poetry: A general survey 45 For shelter, so abroad I must lie. one feels that even a house-agent would wince at 'beseeming abode', even a schoolboy conscript feel that 'abode' isn't the ideal rhyme for 'abroad'! Words, considered as things in themselves, were a minor passion of Hardy's. He prized his copy of the all-inclusive New English Dictionary, in the later volumes of which several words are exemplified largely from his works! And some of the words he employed do seem to have been exhumed from defunct dictionaries: influent, largened, thuswise, meseemed, asile, typic, roomage, joyance, cohue all come from a random dip into his Complete Poems.

He had an impeccable ear and an endless supply of melodious phrases. Such tours de force as The moan of doves in immemorial elms, And murmuring of innumerable bees. from The Princess (1853) were on everyone's lips in the later nineteenth century. Tennyson came to dominate the poetic landscape; a poet both great and various, it was impossible to ignore him. Hardy certainly did not ignore him, on the contrary he greatly admired him, just as Tennyson admired Hardy's novel A Pair of Blue Eyes. But, from the outset of his career Hardy was determined to 'go and do otherwise'.

Day Lewis, Dylan Thomas and Philip Larkin among them. What made so strong an appeal was his refusal to edit experience, his determination to show 'the grandeur underlying the sorriest things, the sorriness underlying the grandest things', Hardy's own formulation of the mission of poetry. Perhaps a poem by Robert Graves, another visitor, (though it is not about Hardy but Hardy's Life 35 entitled A Country Mansion) contains the best metaphor of Hardy's creative longevity, A smell of mould from loft to cellar Yet sap still brisk in the oak Of the great beams: if ever they use a saw It will stain, as cutting a branch from a green tree.

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