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Journeying in Hardy's "At Castle Boterel"

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  • Essay length: 1537 words
  • Submitted: 03/11/2009
  • Marked by teacher: (?) Val Shore
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AS and A Level Other Poets

Teacher essay summary

5 star(s)

An excellent essay, which demonstrates understanding of how poetic technique and subject matter are intricately linked and used to craft and create meaning. The writer understands and can explain the effects of a range of poetic devices - not only metaphor, but also enjambment, masculine and feminine rhyme, and to some extent rhythmic effects, though these could be explored in more detail.
There is also a real sense in this essay that the writer has something to say and has responded personally and thoughtfully to the poem. An excellent vocabulary helps to give the essay fluency of expression.
*****

Marked by teacher Val Shore 21/03/2012

The first 200 words of this essay...

After Emma's death Hardy embarked on a journey to some of their old haunts in Cornwall to rediscover their old love. Considering in detail one poem, discuss ways in which Hardy uses the symbol of journeying in his poetry.

"At Castle Boterel", one of the greatest of Hardy's Poems of 1912-13, is an intensely personal poem, yet expresses universal truths on the subjects of loss, reclamation and time. An example of Hardy at his most emotionally evocative and philosophically profound, it chronicles his spiritual, intellectual and emotional journey following the death of his wife.

The background to the composition of "At Castle Boterel" is that of a physical journey itself - Hardy's pilgrimage to Cornwall. In the poem this journey is juxtaposed with a past journey, separated by time but not space, taken in a parallel March many years before. The comparative weather conditions belie Hardy's nostalgia for the past: the bleakness of the present "drizzle" and "fading byway" draws a sharp contrast with the "dry March weather" of the former journey. The use of the vivid present in "We climb the road" emphasises the clarity of the memory, blurring, as in many of the Poems of

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MbT essay summary

An excellent essay, which demonstrates understanding of how poetic technique and subject matter are intricately linked and used to craft and create meaning. The writer understands and can explain the effects of a range of poetic devices - not only metaphor, but also enjambment, masculine and feminine rhyme, and to some extent rhythmic effects, though these could be explored in more detail.
There is also a real sense in this essay that the writer has something to say and has responded personally and thoughtfully to the poem. An excellent vocabulary helps to give the essay fluency of expression.
*****

Marked by teacher Val Shore 21/03/2012

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