November 5, 2014
Introduction to Poetry
“The Darkling Thrush”
“The Darkling Thrush” by Thomas Hardy is a thirty-two line poem that contains four stanzas. The first two stanzas provide the setting of the poem and the last two stanzas describe more about his feeling towards winter. In "The Darkling Thrush" brings subtle messages to light regarding the seasons and even the elements but here's the thing, though: like everything else in "The Darkling Thrush," all of the classical allusions in this poem are coupled with images of death and decay.
As winter comes around the days grow short and the nights grow long. In “The Darkling Thrush,” the first stanza begins by referring to winter and how nature once beauty is now gone in the flash of an eye. In lines two and three, Hardy capitalizes the words “Frost” (2) and “Winter” (3) and he personifies how he uses the capitalizations. He describes the frost as being “specter grey” (2) and the winter as being “dregs made desolate” (3). They are personifications because he describes them as being less like natural elements but rather more like a person’s name. He uses winter as a metaphor for death and uses subtle messages in reference to the grim reaper. Hardy also uses the words “coppice,” (1) “specter,” (2) and “weakening” (4) to describe how the ice is cracking during the winter months with the hard k sounds. As the poem moves on towards the end, it begins to talk about rebirth and how with every death things are reborn.
“The Darkling Thrush” describes more outside elements of nature during the winter months and how that with every winter a spring follows and nature begins to be born again. In line one, Hardy states “I leant upon a coppice gate” which describes how he was standing next to a big area of scrub brush that is gated in and it seems as though it is saying that humans have screwed up nature for a while now by gating in fields. It also could be interpreted as being an opening to the new...
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