Afterwards by Thomas Hardy analysis.
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Afterwards Analysis The poem Afterwards by Thomas Hardy consists of five stanzas, each one a quatrain. Hardy is anticipating his own death and questioning how he will be remembered. The use of nature, not in the abstract sense but in his own feelings towards it and the sensitivity of his observations of nature contrasts his mortality. He wants to be remembered as a man who "used to notice such things" The "Present" tense is personified in the first stanza as it "latched it's postern". A postern is a back door and a private exit giving the first indication the poet fears his death will pass quietly and unnoticed. Use of alliteration ""may month" "glad green" and assonance "dewfall-hawk" emphasise the grandeur of seemingly ordinary things and events.
The nightjar bird known in Hardy's local area as the "dewfall-hawk" makes a great deal of noise when it is still, yet is silent and fast when flying. Hardy compares his poetry to the strange noises the bird makes when it is still and his life to the bird in flight, ending both quickly and unnoticed. The "eyelid's soundless blink" emphasises the silence of the "dewfall-hawk" during flight and also reminds readers of the senses sight and sound, that is essential to observe nature. Hardy feels out of place with his wild ideas in his structured environment like a hedgehog that "travels furtively over the lawn". A hedgehog is a wild animal and also seems out of place when it is crossing the lawn - an area that man has recultivated.
Hardy uses the words "neighbours" and "gazer" to describe other people he vaguely notes. He is not concerned with them so they appear far less clear than the small creatures he notices and appreciates. Hardy's observations of nature are also unpretentious and accurate. The modesty in describing "full starred heavens" and "glad green leaves" increases the "mysteries" of these seemingly ordinary things, as anyone can observe them but only he seems to be able to appreciate their strange beauty. "Bells of quittance" in the final stanza links the theme of Hardy's anticipated death that was first established in the first stanza. Repetition of the bells initial "outrollings" which "cuts a pause" after a "crossing breeze" illustrates how the spirit of his poetry is passed on and continues like the chiming of the bells, despite the slight pauses caused by the death of individuals.
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