What are the three(3) generalization of Thomas Hardy's poems? (for example: The Darkling Thrush)

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Michael Ugulini eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The three generalizations of Thomas Hardy's poems are:

1. The Beauty of Creation

Thomas Hardy conveys this in his poem entitled, “Beeny Cliff.” He talks of the “opal and the sapphire of that wandering western sea.” This is vivid imagery that gives the reader a sense of the beauty of the scene. Furthermore, Hardy talks of the March day being a “clear-sunned” one. Subsequently it begins to rain. After the rain, Hardy talks of the sun bursting forth again to highlight the area. He says that, with the sun out, “purples prinked the main.”

Moreover, in this poem, Hardy talks of the “chasmal beauty” Beeny Cliff is, in essence, a majestic cliff pointing up to the sky. Hardy is relating to the reader the natural beauty of the environment he is witnessing.

2. The Trials of Life

Hardy shows the trials faced in life in his poem “The Darkling Thrush.” In this poem he talks about mankind seeking solace in household fires. He indicates that life can be harsh and challenging in his line,

 “And every spirit upon earth

        Seemed fervourless as I.”

Just the tone of the poem and the word choices, such as “bleak twigs” and “the growing gloom” contribute to an underlying sense of despair in the poem. However, by the end of the poem, Hardy does give the reader a glimpse of a future joy and hope. He talks of an old thrush that begins to sing out a song. He says that the thrush’s song offered some hope that maybe the thrush new about, but that the poet was unaware of.

3. The Power of True Love

In the poem “Her Immortality” Hardy talks of a man visiting his love’s grave. The poem conveys the message that he, through staying alive, keeps her immortal so-to-speak, because he brings her to remembrance. If he dies, the remembrance of her dies as well. Hardy speaks of Love – the age old quest of us all really. The man in the poem says he will not die so as to keep this woman’s memory alive and “To lengthen out thy days”

Nevertheless, the man worries that when he dies, she will cease to be. In essence, the memory of her will die, and all that she was to him and to others will not be remembered because he is not there to keep the story of her at the forefront of others’ minds. This causes him present grief as he worries about this.

Read the study guide:
The Darkling Thrush

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