Darkling Thrush Brief Analysis

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Khang Nguyen
McMillan
APLit- P3
10-9-10
The Darkling Thrush Analysis

Poems at first sight seem to be merely several lines of words grouped together but there are elements within them that turn a plethora of intricately organized words into something meaningful. The poetic devices such as alliteration, consonance, and rhyme are more than just tools to make a grouping of words sound different. In fact, they bring depth and convey the writer’s feelings on a particular subject. A poem can show its true colors when read correctly and analytically. The poem “Darkling Thrush”, written by Thomas Hardy on December 31, 1900 uses a couple of these devices to express its’ tone, mood, and ideas. In the first stanza, Thomas Hardy establishes the tone and setting of the poem with the use of sound patterns such as rhyme and alliteration. He uses end rhyme in the pattern ababcdcd throughout the poem which helps to combine the main thoughts of the subject together in each stanza. The narrator is shown to be in somewhat of a relaxed, thinking mood as he “leant upon a coppice gate”. Hardy mentions the words Winter and Frost, which clearly shows that the poem is set in a snowy land during the latter end of the year. Additionally, he describes Frost as “spectre-gray” which apparently gives a sense of emptiness and a dark mood to the poem. This point is further reinforced with the defining of Winter’s dregs as “desolate”. The combined usage of the adjective desolate and spectre-grey intricately defines the setting. Simile is used to compare bine stems to broken lyres (a musical instrument) to provide imagery. The final two lines demonstrates how the speaker notices that while the mood is bleak outside, people are still happy in their household environments residing by their “household fires”. Some alliteration can be found in this stanza as well- When, Winter, Weakening; Haunted and Household. The first three alliterations all unify a common thought of the setting. The last...
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