I'm having trouble understanding the poem "No!" by Thomas Hood. Will someone briefly explain the poetry so that I can teach my students well? I remain grateful.  Looking forward to your kind help.

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teachsuccess's profile pic

teachsuccess | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Hello! You asked about the poem "No" by Thomas Hood. The poem is also known as "November." November is a dreary time of year in England. It is late fall and there is scant sunshine. I will present the poem below and explanations in bold. Thomas Hood penned this poem in 1844. Also, I include relevant links below that might help. Thanks for the question!

No sun—no moon! (There is little sunshine in November and you can't even see the moon)
        No morn—no noon—
No dawn—
        No sky—no earthly view—
        No distance looking blue— (There seem to be no blue skies in November)
No road—no street—no “t’other side the way”— (Streets are obscured by the famous London fog)
        No end to any Row— (the word "Row" is part of the name of some streets in England; here, it could refer to Rotten Row, which is connected to Hyde Park, where the rich liked to go horse-riding in the 18th and 19th Centuries. Whether it is Savile Row, known for its excellent men's tailoring, or Rotten Row or Paternoster Row, one can't see the end of any street in the fog)
        No indications where the Crescents go— (Crescents here refer to the shape of connected buildings in London like Lansdowne Crescent)
        No top to any steeple— (one cannot even see the tops of steeples because they are obscured by the fog)
No recognitions of familiar people— (one cannot recognize people's faces through the London fog)
        No courtesies for showing ‘em—
        No knowing ‘em! (How can one communicate to people one cannot see?)
No traveling at all—no locomotion,
No inkling of the way—no notion—
        “No go”—by land or ocean— (travel is impeded by this fog)
        No mail—no post— (the delivery of mail is also impeded by this fog)
        No news from any foreign coast— (this fog prevents ships arriving with news from foreign regions)
No park—no ring—no afternoon gentility—
        No company—no nobility— (Hyde Park and Regent's Park are devoid of the presence of the gentility, the upper classes, so used to taking their walks there. Regent's Park is round in shape, hence, "no ring." You can't even see the round shape of the famous park, due to the fog.)
No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
   No comfortable feel in any member— (again, the November month offers none of the cheerfulness of summer)
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees, (certainly there are no butterflies and none of the shine of summer)
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds, (November is a dead month where no fruits and flowers and birds can thrive)
        November!

Regents Park.

Rotten Row.

Lansdowne Crescent.

London Fog/ Pea-soup fog/ killer fog.

Thomas Hood and London Fog.

shoaibnohri's profile pic

shoaibnohri | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

Thank You

Much appreciated.

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