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Explore - Hardy’s Elegies are Poems Recollected in Tranquillity.

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Introduction

Explore: Hardy's Elegies are Poems Recollected in Tranquillity. 'Poems are emotions recollected in tranquillity', these were the famous words of William Wordsworth and the basis for which I will centre my coursework . The death of Emma Gifford caught Thomas Hardy by surprise as the death of his wife was unexpected. This unfortunate event caused Hardy to go into a form of shock and despair which forced his mind to cast back to forty years before, when he first met Emma, and to all in love with her again. After a death people go through a number of emotional stages which are enigmas in themselves, this was quite bizarre in Hardy's case for the past number of years the couple had grown apart, they were both firm-footed individuals with their own ideals, opinions and views. Being a writer Hardy had some very unorthodox opinions, when he didn't mean what he said and he had a mind to express these ideas in public. Undoubtedly these were probably attempted to be suppressed by his embarrassed wife who was trying to keep up appearances in public who found it difficult to relate to a man that shuts himself up in his study and writes his novels and lyrics not speaking to her from one end of the morning to the evening. On the other side of the coin Hardy was becoming aware that Emma grew increasingly insane with every day that past, there was a streak of insanity that ran in her family so it seemed a plausible view. ...read more.

Middle

she did it to punish him, there is also a hint of solitude and loneliness: ' up and be gone, where I could not follow' In the second stanza you can see how highly Hardy holds her in his esteem. He talks of her death as if a great being has passed on: ' That your great going, had place that morning, and altered all.' He seems to be remorseful over his behaviour on the morning of her death, that on the morning of her death he was,' unmoved and unknowing', not realising that she had died. You can sense his guilt and hatred for his ignorance on that occasion. In the third stanza it appears that the guilt has set in and he is now haunted with memories of her, Hardy expects to see Emma walk around a corner one day: ' And think for a breath it is you I see, oh the perspective sickens me!' The way that Hardy writes, with the words he uses, it is almost as if he is painting a vivid picture, displaying a potent image in your mind. He does this well in the forth stanza: These poems depict memories that were long since forgotten a strong sense of the past which cannot be escaped .Hardy had a period of time imprinted in his mind like when you can feel how you felt at that moment in time, when you smell something and memories come back so real and vivid in you mind, and you feel as if you have gone back in time. ...read more.

Conclusion

I f he stayed on his walk then he could fool himself that she were still alive, for there would be nothing there that would prove him otherwise. Hardy's life didn't revolve around Emma for they were drifting apart and had been doing for sometime, even though his life didn't centre around his wife it didn't mean that she didn't matter to Hardy, for we know that she did for he wrote what some people would describe as 'the greatest love lyrics of all time ' about her. She was part of him, part of his past, his youth and his happiness. I do believe that the Elegies are universally relevant to all readers for they show you the raw emotion that Hardy felt during these times. However did he feel like this when he wrote 'the Going' for example? To that question I feel compelled to say yes. I suppose this is because I believe that people act and do things in a certain way when they follow their heart and not their head. To be able to express these feelings the way that Hardy has done, successfully would be enormously challenging. Maybe Hardy was capable of translating recollected emotion onto paper in tranquillity, however I would consider the circumstances, being that Emma died only one month before The Going was written. Could hardy have discovered the death of his wife, gone through an emotional trauma found peace and calm and written the emotional Rolla coaster that 'The Going is, only one month after Emma's passing... I don't believe so. ...read more.

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