Thomas Hardy

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Critically analyse poem "Afterwards" by Thomas Hardy. In detail please.

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This is an interesting poem for a number of reasons. Like much of Hardy's poetry, it is permeated with nature imagery and creates a vivid image of the "dusk," the "dewfall-hawk," and the "wind-warped upland thorn" of Hardy's beloved countryside. However, Hardy is imagining, as the title suggests, a time "Afterwards"—that is, after his own death. The attitude taken by the speaker is rather different to that of most elegies or poems requesting remembrance of the speaker: indeed, the whole poem is a rhetorical question . Hardy asks, "will the neighbours say" what he imagines they might. The poem explores the way Hardy views himself—as a man who "notice[s]" the beauty of nature and enjoys a walk in the quiet dusk—and questions whether after his death, he will be remembered at all, and more importantly, whether...

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