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Using the poems studied so far; discuss the range of Hardys subject matter, as well as the methods used in presenting this subject matter to the reader.

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Introduction

Using the poems studied so far; discuss the range of Hardy's subject matter, as well as the methods used in presenting this subject matter to the reader. The range of subject matter in Hardy's poetry is relatively small. By looking at the poems studied so far, and the repetition of certain themes this can be seen. A lot of Hardy's poetry is drenched in nostalgia. Of the poems studied so far, many of them reflect on a past incident. Past experiences are remembered in poems like; The Waterfall, We Sat At The Window and Castle Boterel. In the poems written between 1912 and 1913, these memories are especially painful because they were written in wake of his wife's death. The poems are almost acts of catharsis as he comes to terms with the loss and reflects on death. He looks back on seemingly insignificant moments which acquire poignancy because of what has preceded them. This is seen in At Castle Boterel when Hardy remarks, "It filled but a minute. But was there ever A time of such quality" Loss is an important subject in the poems studied. Loss is not only discussed in the poems between 1912 and 1913 but also in the poem written after his mother's death. ...read more.

Middle

Like James Joyce in the Dubliners, Hardy is presenting the effect of the dead upon the living. This subject is in no line more poignantly illustrated than in The Going; when he finds out about his wife's death, he sees, "morning harden upon the wall" Throughout his poetry he underlines the deep emotional connections that certain places have. This is explored in At Castle Boterel and Beeny Cliff, but in particular in Wessex Heights. In the town he is haunted by the "phantoms" and "ghosts" of the past. He is also haunted by his former self; Hardy used the word "chrysalis" in reference to the town, showing it as a place of change. He is able to find solace in the Heights because it is a place, "Where men have never cared to haunt, nor women have walked with me, And ghosts then keep their distance; and I know some liberty." Nature offers him a chance for escapism; both from the memories of other people and himself. This echoes the line from Tess of the D'Urbervilles, in which he says Tess's shame is, "Based on nothing more tangible than a sense of condemnation under an arbitrary law of society which had no foundation in Nature." A major theme in Hardy's poetry is the merciless movement of time. ...read more.

Conclusion

In The Walk it offers no solace to Hardy; the tree on the top of the hill becomes symbolic of his own state and Hardy helps present this by rhyming "tree" with "me". Hardy does not overcomplicate the event, the lexis is quite simple and his sense of loneliness is understated; this is a method used in many of his poems. There is a frequent juxtaposition of the simplicity of the lexis and the emotional weight of the situation. In I Found Her Out There Hardy finds solace in the notion of Emma being part of nature after her death. He finds her on a slope that "falls westwardly"; west is associated with dying because it is where the sun sets. He takes her away from the "sharp-edged air" where the "ocean breaks" and instead lays her to rest in the softly alliterated "noiseless nest" where she won't be "haunted". One of the underlying subjects in Hardy's poetry is his agnosticism. In Hap he believes his life is dictated by "casualty" and not by the will of god. Hardy asks for a "vengeful" god; his view of the world is such that, if it were to be the product of any higher power, it is a ruthless one. He believes that random chance, or "hap", dictates his suffering. He explicitly links "pilgrimage" with "pain" through alliteration; he is referencing the sacrificial element of religion. Throughout the rest of the poems it is the lack of religion which remarkable. ...read more.

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