How does Thomas Hardy bring the people in the poem "The Pine Planters" to life?

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mlsldy3 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the poem "The Pine Planters," we see the painful awareness of love not returned. The poem is spoken by Marty South, a young woman who is secretly in love with Giles. She has loved him for a long time, but Giles has never seen that love with her. Thomas Hardy uses the poem to show us the very real human emotions that we hide in the secret places of our hearts. 

He has seen one fairer
I feel by his eye,
Which skims me as though
I were not by

In this stanza we can feel how hurt Marty is by the slight that Giles has made. He has seen another woman and seemed to not look at Marty. We feel how heartbroken she is.

Nay, though he never
Knew love like mine,
I'll bear it ever
and make no sigh!

Marty is quietly holding her love for Giles in her heart and in silence. Her longing for Giles is kept inside. By the end of the poem we see that Marty's heart is broken and Giles never knew. 

Thus, all unknowing
for whom or what
we set it growing
In this bleak spot,
It still will grieve here
Throughout its time,
Unable to leave here,
Or change its clime,
Or tell the story
Of us to-day
When, halt and hoary,
We pass away.

Thomas Hardy shows the very real human emotion in this poem. Marty has decided to keep her love a secret until the day she dies. It is heartbreaking. Hardy uses all of these emotions to make Marty fully come alive for us.