The Darkling Thrush

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The Darkling Thrush
By: Thomas Hardy
By: Trishanda Borchers

In Hardy's poem, he successfully uses a variety of images to convey a bleak, cold late autumn or early winter evening. This poem is quite interesting because it has a sort of pattern of description, climax and ending with further description. In the first two stanzas, he introduces the evening, the scenery surrounding him, and then in the third stanza, the thrush causes a sort of climax in which he summarizes the basic mood. Finally, in the fourth stanza he ends with the effect of the song of the thrush on the general mood related to the evening and a sort of desolation (sometimes associated with winter) within.

The first stanza is basically there to set up your position, so that you can just close your eyes and picture what's around you. From everything in a sense of touch, as in leaning against the "coppice gate" to the cold related to the frost that is present. Description in the first stanza runs rampant in the last four lines of it when he personifies and then immediately uses a simile to refer to the branches of a vine; "The tangled bine-stems scored the sky, / Like strings of broken lyres,". Finally with the last two lines of the first stanza, Hardy describes the general feeling of a cold night in that everyone in an effort to keep warm sought "their household fires".

Again, the second stanza is related to the basic scenery, however this is all described on a larger scale. This stanza focuses more on the actual land and not just the general immediate setting. The land is basically being compared to a corpse, with its chill and it's cloud cover used as the crypt of the dead. Just as in the first stanza, the first six lines are related to basic scenery, but the last two describe a feeling again, this time of fervorless.

Climax in the third stanza is present mostly because of the shift in imagery from that of visual and the setting to that of relation to sound. In this...
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