Thomas Hardy's Poems: Meaningful Word Choice

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Thomas Hardy was an English novelist and poet whose writing focused on not only the Naturalism movement but romance and enlightenment themes. John Hollander a poet and literary said “Hardy is among the greatest of poets” in commenting on his collection of poems. Out of all the poems studied, “During Wind and Rain” “Afterwards” and “Backwards Spring” are chosen to tackle my belief that ‘the power poetry relies primarily on meaningful word choice’ because of the language assortment of the poems, its naturalism themes and techniques. ‘During Wind and Rain’, Hardy contrast the happiness of his now dead wife’s childhood with the inevitability of time’s victory. Its structure has each stanza with seven lines and a total of the four stanzas in the entire poem, each which tell a different aspect of Emma’s life with her family. The first stanza of the poem evokes music in the first line ‘they sing their dearest songs” This line here is used to remain the readers that living things change and fade. Nothing remains the same all the time. The last line of the first stanza now has a change in tone as the sounds of music are replaced by the sounds of dead leaves falling onto each other. The second stanza has the entire family working in the gardens when “the white storm birds wing across the sky.” This appearance tells everyone that a storm is coming- a dark thunderstorm. By the third stanza, the family is enjoying breakfast together when harsh winds begin to blow and removes the dead rose from the wall. By the final stanza, the family has moved ‘to a high house’ where all their possessions are laid out on the lawn all day. When looking at the language in the poem, Hardy uses simple phrases to evoke a deeper meaning on the reader. Throughout the poem we are reminded that nothing last forever. Things die, people move as the years go one by. He uses phrases such as ‘rotten rose is ripe’ to demonstrate the theme of nature. Here we see how powerful the wind is and the...
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