The Influence of Thomas Hardy’s Life on His Poetry

June 7, 2022 by Essay Writer

Thomas Hardy was born in Higher Bockhampton, Dorset. His first wife was Emma Gifford in 1874, and died from a heart failure in 1912. Thomas’s second wife was Florence Dugdale, in 1914. Thomas was an Architect, worked at London, and Dorset(Kirkpatrick page 689). He was also something better he was a poet. Thomas writes fictional poetry. His poetry sometimes relates to his city Dorset, which is described as a dark, and rugged place. He influenced a lot of other poets like Robert Frost, Dylan Thomas, and a bunch more(poets.org).

In 1898 Thomas published his first volume of Poetry, Wessex Poems named after a kingdom in Great Britain. Then he left Dorset to the south of England to find new ideas. Thomas Hardy was interested about the Napoleonic wars, Thomas even visited Waterloo. Thomas also used Stonehenge in “The Shadow on the Stone”. He wrote war poems like “The Man He Killed” which is based on World War I. From 1898-1928 he published eight volumes of poetry, about one thousand poems were published. Thomas Hardy often described himself as “In Tenebris II” which means “who holds that if way to better there be, it exacts a full look at the worst”. Thomas died 1928 at Max Gate, a house he built himself, in Dorchester, near his birthplace(PoetryFoundation.org).

Thomas Hardy wrote thousands of poems, but I am only going through four of them. The first poem is “Before Marching and After” by Thomas Hardy. The subject is about a soldier, marching to a battle. When reading it there is imagery of a battlefield “From that Game with Death he would play on the morrow.”(Hardy) There is a rhyme scheme, because multiple words rhyme only in one paragraph. The other paragraphs have no rhyme scheme. The overall tone is a calm poem, with a pinch of fear. My opinion about this poem is that it is a really good poem. It has a feeling of adventure in it.. The second poem is “A Broken Appointment” by Thomas Hardy. The subject is about a woman who didn’t show up. There is imagery of a restaurant “Reluctance for pure lovingkindness’ sake”(Hardy). Like when you are on a first date with someone, and she never came. There is a rhyme scheme in this poem, because multiple words rhyme. The tone should be Sadness, because no one is happy if your love never showed up. My opinion on this poem is that it is just too sad, and the very last sentence is “You love not me?”(Hardy). Just one sentence can change everything.

The third poem is “The Haunter” by Thomas Hardy. The subject is a ghost that is trying to tell another person he is friendly. There is imagery in this quote “Never he sees my faithful phantom”(Hardy). There is a rhyme scheme in this poem, because multiple words rhyme. The tone of this poem is very peaceful, nothing scary. My opinion on this poem on this poem is really good, it shows that not all ghosts are scary. The last poem is “The Last Performance” by Thomas Hardy. It is about a woman who plays a piano, but plays it for a reason. The author uses similes in this poem “Silence cloaks like snow”(Hardy). This simile is saying that silence is just like snow. There is not a rhyme scheme, because all of the words do not rhyme. The tone for this poem is sadness, because she is playing the piano for the very last time. This is the reason why I don’t like it, because all good things come to an end.

The first critic is Rosemarie Morgan, and she says that Thomas Hardy was made fun of his whole life. Rosemarie states “Thomas Hardy:The Poetry of Perception.”. Then after his death a man named Richard Taylor expands his focus on Thomas Hardy’s personal journal. The criticism started when he published his first poem. Then a man named John Hughes presents “Ecstatic sound”. Ecstatic sound is a sudden change in feeling. One of Hardy’s most loved poems “Darkling Thrush” most recognizing lines into the song. Even all of his theories were made fun of, his grasp on poetry was an unfathomable mind, and power of the unconsciousness(Morgan).

The second critic is Fred Reid, and he says Thomas is debated between historians and people who reads his poems. Fred states “Hardy values the essential virtue of the countryman which he saw as overthrown by the “invasion” of an urban spirit.”(Reid page 1). Historians think Thomas Hardy follows Realism. Realism is the attitude of accepting and being prepared to deal with a situation. In his writings he says that revolutionary transformation led to justice. He also states Humanist ideas in his poems too. Humanism is a philosophical and ethical stance that emphasizes the value of humans. He read 19th century books about science and philosophy, to backup his claims. In history Thomas Hardy actually did more than just write poems, he tried to spread Humanism and Realism to the world.

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