stanza two describes the gloomy landscape how does this represent hardy and what images does he use to support this impression and what images are usedhow is hardy represented by the gloomy...

stanza two describes the gloomy landscape how does this represent hardy and what images does he use to support this impression and what images are used

how is hardy represented by the gloomy landscape? what images are created to support the impression?

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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The landscape is what T.S. Eliot would discribe as a "linguistic objective correlative" of the poet's mood. It's very difficult to accurately describe an emotion -- we cannot directly apprehend the emotions of others, but only their external manifestations in language, behaviour, etc. Thus for a writer to portray emotion, he needs to discuss not the emotion itself, but some apprehensible thing, creating a vivid image that will evoke the emotion in the reader.

Hardy uses images of winter in many poems to evoke notions of old age, impotence, despair, and death. In the second stanza, the end of the season (death oif plants, animals hibernating, etc.) seem to mirror the century's end (Hardy was writing at the fin de siecle, the end of the 19th century) and the end of Hardy's own youth and hope. The land, stripped of foliage by winter, seems like a skeleton, stripped of flesh by death and decay.

In the third stanza, the thrush heralds hope for renewal after winter, signalling the seeds that will spring to life with the return of the warm weather, the return of migrating flocks, and wakiing from hibernation of the animals -- and, by analogy, the potential renewal of Hardy himself, a reminder of a Hope of which Hardy is only aware second hand.

This theme of renewal after winter echoes a well-known poem by John Donne, written on St. Lucy's Day, Dec. 23, which is the shortest day of the year.

 

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