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Show how Hardy responds to the death of his wife, the thoughts and feelings expressed and the variety of devices he employs.

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Show how Hardy responds to the death of his wife, the thoughts and feelings expressed and the variety of devices he employs. In the years after the death of his wife, Emma, in 1912, the main subject of Hardy's poems was his wife and how he missed her and grieved her death. In his poems during this period he uses a lot of euphemism, so that he never actually tells the reader his wife has died. However, the strong sense of sadness and regret he feels comes through in every poem. The first poem Hardy wrote after the death of Emma was The Going in December 1912. This poem has a highly regular rhythm and rhyme, with the important words often rhyming at the end of the lines to draw attention to them. The title of the poem is a euphemism for death, and he continues with these throughout the poem, using phrases such as 'vanishing', 'close your term here' and 'where I could not follow'. This poem is written as if Hardy is addressing Emma. In the first stanza, Hardy addresses and questions his dead wife, and gives a sense of what seems like anger and irritation towards her, that she gave him 'no hint' that she was going to die. He suggest she was 'indifferent' and didn't care about leaving him, and this shows how he is grieving and maybe not thinking straight. He emphases her swift, quick death as she left 'with wing of swallow' but this imagery also suggests her beauty in his eyes and how much he will miss her. Now he regrets he cannot follow her and he knows he will not 'gain one glimpse' of her 'ever anon'. The start of the second stanza reiterates how he did not know that Emma was going to die and again he shows his regret that he could never 'bid good-bye'. ...read more.


This stanza shows that Hardy feels he cannot move on because of his memories and 'the woman calling'. This last line completes the eerie sense given in the poem and relates back to the start of the poem, giving the sense that what has happened in this poem keeps on happening to Hardy, and there is nothing he can do to stop it. Beeny Cliff has a strong rhythm and strong rhyme, using the same sounds at the end of each line of each stanza. Beeny Cliff was a special place for Hardy and Emma that they visited together. 'O' at the start of the poem indicates Hardy's happiness and excitement as he reminisces about him and Emma. The first line is full of description and imagery, and the 'opal and the sapphire' suggest preciousness and beauty - a description of the sea in the poem, but a description of his wife in Hardy's mind. Hardy's description of Emma is almost angelic as she is described as 'the woman riding high above with bright hair flapping free'. The alliteration is an onomatopoeia of the wind and the high wind suggests high spirits between Hardy and Emma. Hardy also states that he loved Emma and she 'loyally loved' him, suggesting that, although they both loved each other, she was more faithful than he was. Hardy knows this and is therefore now regretting that he did not make the most of his time with her when she was alive. In the next stanza Hardy concentrates on how when they were together, nothing or no one could touch them. Hardy tells us that birds were 'plained below' them and 'seemed far away', to show they were only concentrating on each other and nothing else could distract them. The waves are shown to be what could be a big distraction by the onomatopoeic sibilance of 'engrossed in saying their ceaseless babbling say', but Hardy and Emma were engrossed in each other thereby showing how close they were at this point in time. ...read more.


At the start of the final stanza, Hardy describes what this vision is. He tells us he sees a 'girl-ghost-rider', using a compound word to describe exactly what he sees in his visions. The sounds in the alliteration are happy and soft when Hardy describes Emma, and contrast the harsh sounds Hardy uses to describe himself; 'toil-tried'. Hardy also tells us that although he 'withers daily', and is always getting older, 'time touches her not' and she is always the same in his thoughts and memories of her. 'She still rides gaily in his rapt thought', which shows that his memories of her are when she was happy and free, and that he cannot think of anything else but her. The harsh sounds in the alliteration of 'shagged and shaly' drag him back to reality and back to the sea, which is the idea the whole poem revolves around. The last line of the poem shows that Hardy's lasting memory of Emma will be a happy one; Emma is singing 'to the swing of the tide', and that the sea will always be in his memories of her, as it was a special place for them. In conclusion, we can see clearly how Hardy attitude and response to the death of Emma changed over time through his poems. At first he is grieving and mourning her, and wishes he could bring her back; he thinks it is his fault that she has died and regrets that their relationship was not as happy as it had been and he wishes he had had a chance to say goodbye to her. However, he stops being so overcome by guilt and regret and focuses more on his memories of himself and Emma in happier times such as on Beeny Cliff. The main devices Hardy repeatedly uses are writing the poems sometimes not using himself as the first person and euphemism in place of saying what has actually happened, especially when referring to Emma's death. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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