The Darkling Thrush by Thomas Hardy

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"The Darkling Thrush" is a poem of despair and hope. Do you agree?

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More despair than hope, in my opinion. Although the hope encapsulated in the song of the thrush is clearly important, I think that it is all but drowned out by the patent despair in the surroundings and the description we are given of them. Hardy paints a bleak and desolate picture in the first two stanzas of a speaker that is divorced from the "household fires" of his fellow man and is put in the middle of a "spectre-gray" landscape that mirrors the death of the passing century as the wind sounds "his death-lament." One of the most effective pieces of imagery is the way...

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