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Thomas Hardy's poem "Afterwards" is an elegiac poem written to eulogize himself.
An elegy is:
a mournful, melancholy poem, especially a funeral song or lament for the dead or a personal, reflective poem.
In "Afterwards", Hardy is detailing his own life so that those who knew him are able to resurrect his through a combination of the memories that they both share.
The meter of the poem mirrors the author. Hardy's gentle repetition of the word "when" sets a standard for which the poem should be read- slow and in remembrance of time past and remembered with true emotion.
The aspect of time is reiterated in the detailing of the passage of spring ("May month") into fall ("crossing breeze"). In the end, Hardy is detailing his own funeral and the recognition that only those who knew him best ("He hears it not now, but used to notice such things") will he care for.
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