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Commentary. The Voice is a four-stanza poem written by late 19th century British poet, Thomas Hardy

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Introduction

Cheryl ChanEnglish Literature SL The Voice ? Commentary ?The Voice? is a four-stanza poem written by late 19th century British poet, Thomas Hardy, as a dedication towards his late wife Emma. As the title indicates, the poem features Hardy?s mindset towards the death of his wife, whose voice would consistently come back into his mind. The consequent feelings of regret and confusion are then conveyed through a careful construction with various literary devices, leaving the reader a vivid impression of the depths of his emotions. The first stanza begins with a simple ? however powerful ? phrase of ?Woman much missed?. This opening line relays the importance of the person towards the speaker, with the direct address of ?woman?. The alliteration of the ?m? sound underlines a sad downbeat, emphasizing the feelings of regret and mourning. ...read more.

Middle

His delight at the memory of the past ? ?Where you would wait for me: yes, as I knew you then? ? is emanated through the break in the line, in addition to adding ?yes? immediately after, which implied Hardy?s pleasure in reminiscing the moment. His memory is detailed and vivid because he specifies the exact colour of her ?air-blue gown?. However, in saying ?air-blue?, an imagery of an invisible matter is also featured, suggesting a non-physical, ethereal presence instead. The third stanza illustrates Hardy?s confusion by using a tone of uncertainty, reinforced by the entire stanza being one long question. The voice is simply a breeze of ?listlessness?, hinting that the weakness of the wind has ?ever dissolved?, a metaphor for Emma?s death where her spiritual presence is forever absorbed into the universe, unable to return and hence nothing can be done in recovering the relationship. ...read more.

Conclusion

The illustration of the wind ?oozing thin through the thorn? also demonstrates a certain hardship and discomfort, an implication of his future life. The last line then deepens the idea of the haunting of his wife?s memory in his mind, where ?the woman calling? ? in using present continuous tense ? will be ongoing and even unrelenting. The simplicity of the line ? as like the opening line in the first stanza ? powerfully and memorably captures his final feelings of loneliness, regret and desperation. In conclusion, ?The Voice? is dedicated to the poet?s yearn for his late wife, which is emphasized by mournful sounds and ghostly imagery. His mindset is clearly demonstrated throughout, a conflicted set of emotions flicking between nostalgia and anger and sadness. Nonetheless, this poem not only expresses Hardy?s state of mind, but also bears timeless testimony to the plight of many people who live with consequences of personal mistakes never to be rectified. Hardy, in composing ?The Voice?, has indelibly captured this experience of the human situation. ...read more.

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