The Darkling Thrush by Thomas Hardy

The Darkling Thrush book cover
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Critical Overview

(Poetry for Students)

On the whole, critics have been kind to "The Darkling Thrush," praising both its subject matter and its form. It is one of Hardy's most written-about poems. Richard Carpenter, for example, in his study of Hardy and his work, Thomas Hardy , writes, "[The poem] is sharp and clear in its images, harsh and austere in its feelings, done in Hardy's most characteristic manner." In his essay "Thomas Hardy: Moments of Vision," Geoffrey Harvey calls "The Darkling Thrush" a poem of the highest imaginative order," noting that the speaker mourns God's death as much as the death of nature. Sheila Berger, in her study Thomas Hardy and Visual Structures, makes a link between what the speaker physically sees and the thematic vision of the poem. "There is a question in the...

(The entire section is 249 words.)