• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Comment closely on the following poem (The Self-Unseeing by Thomas Hardy), paying particular attention to its presentation of memories.

Extracts from this document...


The Self-Unseeing portrays Hardy reminiscing over his childhood life with his parents. In the first stanza, the setting - their old house - is described in a way that conveys a sense of age and weariness, through such words and phrases as ?ancient? (emphasizing the age), ?footworn and hollowed and thin? (alluding to the emptiness which has overtaken it through the passage of time after it has been abandoned), ?former? (revealing the extent of change in the house, eg. by the door no longer being there), and ?dead feet? (those of his parents). At this point in the poem Hardy speaks in the present tense from the outside of the house, in order to convey its emptiness to the reader. ...read more.


However, this tragedy is buried beneath the warm, welcoming mood established by the aforementioned use of language in this stanza. Hardy illuminates these memories in the final stanza with light imagery - ?blessings? (which tend to be associated with heaven and therefore light), ?day?, ?glowed?, ?gleam?, which underscore the joyful feelings previously evoked. This use of light imagery serves as a metaphor to reveal how Hardy, ?childlike?, ?danced in a dream?, and overall, the diction shows that his memories had a dazzling and pensive quality. However, it can be seen from the concluding line, ?Yet we were looking away!?, that he feels remorseful for not fully appreciating what he had at the time. It is this line which gives meaning to the poem?s title - he (the ?self?) ...read more.


and be filled with regret through this reflection. The past-tense verbs ?walked?, ?sat?, and ?stood?, which are simply describing what once was, become tinged with regret (as if mourning) upon a second glance. In contrast, the passive verbs ?danced?, ?emblazoned?, and ?glowed? preserve their cheerful connotations, which suggest that to Hardy, reminiscence is a bittersweet experience. This idea is supported by the structure of the poem: three quatrains with ?abab? rhyme schemes; although the rhyme scheme establishes a sense of reminiscence, there are emotions both positive and negative associated with it. The simple pattern of it also mirrors the simplicity and naivety of childhood. The structure, rhythm, and diction of the poem thus convey a powerful message - that pleasant experiences will eventually become memories, carrying both the happiness of their past occurrence and the regret and sadness of knowing that their time is past. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Other Poets section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Other Poets essays

  1. The Rime of the Ancient Mariner-Issues of Paganism and Christianity

    The Mariner states that he knows 'the man that must hear' his tale. This suggests he has a supernatural ability to tell who will benefit from his message. Jesus often preached to the most unlikely people, those who others rejected but who he knew needed to hear his 'Good News'.

  2. Read the poem Ode to the West Wind by Percy Bysshe Shelley. Write an ...

    Appealing to us to 'hear, oh, hear!' (L 14). It seems acceptable for the wind to cause so much destruction, in order to transform from one season to the other. The second stanza doesn't flow as smoothly, containing more of a declamatory style as 'Angels of rain and lightening' (L 18), and 'Vaulted with all thy congregated might' (L26)

  1. How do the authors convey their attitude about ageing in Childhood and My Parents?

    Even though the poem follows a regular rhythm, lines 4 and 10 are shorter. It is consider to me that this shows how he wants to make the reader emphasise on the nouns. In this poem both rhythm and rhyme are musical, so as to give a pleasant effect.

  2. Fern Hill By Dylan Thomas, summary and commentary.

    was long?; he is ?honoured among wagons,? ?famous among the barns,? ?blessed among stables,? and ?honoured among foxes and pheasants.? His adversary, time, is also accorded verbal formulas: ?Time let me hail and climb/ Golden in the heydays of his eyes?; ?Time let me play and be/ Golden in the

  1. Discuss the following poem (A Thunderstorm in Town by Thomas Hardy) in detail, considering ...

    Hardy ends the poem with by conveying an immense sense of regret (for not making his feelings known to Henniker and not acting upon the opportunity he had) in the last two lines: ?I should have kissed her if the rain / Had lasted a minute more?.

  2. Comment closely on "The Going" (by Thomas Hardy) paying particular attention to the ways ...

    Deaths unexpectedness emphasizes its fragility, and tendency to ?quickly - and calmly? occur at any ?moment, and alter all?. The use of the oxymoron, ?quickly - and calmly? to describe death may suggest Hardy?s state of confusion due to the swiftness of it all happening, as well as him actually not knowing how she died because he was not there.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work