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How does Hardy portray the themes of loss and loneliness in his poems?

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English GCSE Coursework - Pre 1914 Poetry How does Hardy portray the themes of loss and loneliness in his poems? Introduction From 1862 to 1867 Hardy worked for an architect in London and later continued to practice architecture, despite ill health, in Dorset. Meanwhile, he was writing poetry with little success. He then turned to novels as more salable, and by 1874 he was able to support himself by writing. This is also the year that Hardy married his first wife, Emma Gifford. Their marriage lasted until her death in 1912, which prompted Hardy to write his collection of poems called Veteris Vestigiae Flammae (Vestiges of an Old Flame). These poems are some of Hardy's finest and describe their meeting and his subsequent loss. In this essay I am going analyse three poems and those three poems will be "The Voice", "Neutral Tones" and "Where The Picnic Was" Section 1 - Context Thomas Hardy was writing around from 1870 and gave up novel writing in 1895 after receiving harsh criticism. In those times the laws were very different. For instance women could not vote at all which could have made a difference if they did vote. ...read more.


The rhyme structure for this poem is ABBA. Some examples are: "day", "gray", "god" and "sod". In this poem Hardy is telling us that from the start of his relationship with this woman is starting to go wrong right from the start; and this shows that the love is sad and that this is not the woman for Hardy. This also shows that he is sad and depressed about his relationship. In the third poem "Where The Picnic Was" the structure of this poem is quite complicating as the first two verses are the same and the third verse is longer than the other two verses. In the first and second verse there is nine lines and in the third verse there is twelve lines. At first the poem starts off happy, then gradually becomes very sad towards then ending and the ending of the poem itself. This is because at the ending of the poem Emma is dead, so basically this whole poem somewhat contrasts Emma's life on a whole. The ending of each verse summarizes the verse itself. Section 4 - Language and Imagery The language and imagery that Hardy used in these three poems is powerful in it's own way. ...read more.


"And the sea breathes brine" this shows that the sea is breathing and this quote is a good example of an assonance as the letter for the assonance is the letter E. "Now a cold wind blows" "And the glass is gray" the first quote is a use of pathetic fallacy and the second quote is use of colour which is to echo Hardy's mood. In this poem there are some poetic devices that are not used such as: metaphors, onomatopoeia and repetition. The reason Hardy uses the themes of loss and loneliness is because of the death of his wife Emma. This makes Hardy write poems about her, for example what they use to do or describing her on how she made Hardy happy. My personal feelings on the poems we studied is that Hardy has used a lot of poetic devices to describe on Emma or on what they use to do together. I would find that "Where The Picnic Was" was the poem that I prefer because this is the only poem that has used most of the poetic devices and each ending of the verse summarizes the verse itself. Also the mood changes, from happy to sad, which contrasts Emma when she was alive and contrasts the death of Emma as well. ...read more.

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