“During Wind and Rain” by Thomas Hardy, a poem based on Time and Death, exploring the notion that in spite of the fact that life affects joy and happiness, the ‘years’ will catch up to us and take these moments away.
Hardy uses a range of literary devices to enhance the sense of the nature of death and time to the reader. He uses imagery in the form of metaphors to show that Time and Death work together to bring about the worst of an end to one’s life. “Sick leaves”, “white storm birds”, “rotten rose”, and “carved names” are metaphors that conspire together to represent death; the sickness of the leaves only occur at the end of it’s time, birds are known to flee in the presence of a coming storm or natural disaster, the rotting of a flower is the lowest of a rose’s life, for it is beautiful for the duration of it’s life, other then when it meets Death and begins to become deformed and disintegrate.
In his use of figurative language, Hardy also has a continuous structure to match his theme of Death and Time. The structure appears to stay regular, continuous in it’s appearance of four stanzas, with seven lines in each stanza with a unvarying ABCBCDA rhyme scheme, which does not complement the to the theme. Hardy uses ellipses in each stanza, on every fifth line, giving a sense that the moment is left unfinished. This fits with the theme as it’s reflects the presence of Death, that it appears unnoticed and it does not matter how happy you become, you will always be taken away from it. It strengthens the point that Death prevents us from completing everything we want in life, ending the poem with the hint of an inevitable demise.
In the end, the poem conjures a sense of transience, imprinting the image that happiness is fleeting. Hardy gives the impression that he is a fatalist in this piece and his other pieces as he has continuously the repeating theme of inevitable death and despair. It is implicated that his pessimistic attitude makes him believe that pleasure and contentment is only present for a moment before time catches up with you and you are captured by Death. What I also noticed was that Hardy never refers to himself in this poem; although he believes that Time and Death with catch up on everyone, he does not gives the impression that this would happen to him, as though he can accept everyone else’s fate, but not his own. This is reflected in his use of the putting “they” as the first word of each stanza rather than “we”.
In essence there is a repetition of the same effect of tone throughout the poem; of it being consistent till the end of the piece, but there is a shift half way through each of the four stanzas. At the beginning of each stanza there is an aura of contentment and never ending euphoria radiate from his words, with the first five lines being very idyllic. However, in the last two lines of each stanza, there is a shift in tone, making the scene more bleak and conjuring up images of desolation, death, disaster and decomposition. This echoes Hardy’s thoughts of an inevitable death, as there is an unavoidable end to each stanza, and the poem itself. Neutral Tones
“Neutral Tones” by Thomas Hardy, is a poem about the meeting of two past lovers, who lack the emotion of which they once felt towards each other. This absence of sensitivity is reflected not only in the facial expressions of the unknown couple, but also in the atmosphere surrounding them.
Hardy uses a range of literary devices to project the true feelings, which are radiating from the narrator and his ex-lover. He uses imagery in the form of pathetic fallacy to enhance the lack of emotion in the poem. Although the poem is based on the feelings of which emit from the poem, or deficiency of it, the first and last stanza mainly consist of emphasizing the effect the surroundings play in the scene. The image of the “pond [on a] winter day” gives the image of a frozen surface; this reflects the emotions as like the still, unmoving, cold water, the feelings between the couple are also frozen and unable to return to how it once was. Hardy also inflicts the image of the sun being “white”, this not only emphasizes the lack of emotion, but having described it has being “chidden of God” gives the effect that like the sun, their relationship is also cursed. “Leaves lay” and “starving sod” are two examples of alliteration and imagery that Hardy had used to accent the themes; “leaves lay” gives a very dragged out sound when read aloud, while “starving sod” gives a more staccato and forced effect on the tongue. The use of sibilance enhances the image that like the ground, their relationship is also starving from emotion. The leaves also being “gray”, shows the lack of bright colours in the surroundings, like the lack of a spark in the couple. In the third stanza, Hardy describes the woman’s smile to be “the deadest thing”; the bluntness of the word “dead” shows the end to the love they once shared, and with it to be “alive enough to have the strength to die” shows the extremities that has resulted because of their relationship. He uses similes to say that the “grin of bitterness swept thereby” was similar to the act of “like an ominous bird a-wing….”, which gives the image of a smooth motion that came easily to the woman. With the bird being “ominous” emphasises the idea that for their relationship to continue would be lead to a bad future. With the last three lines of the final stanza reflecting the first stanza shows the effect of the atmosphere on the lack feelings and emotions between the couple.
The structure appears to conspire with the theme, as it stays consistent throughout the poem. The poem is formed with four stanzas, with the syllable scheme being 9,11,10,10; it resembles that of a sonnet. It has four lines per stanza with an ABBA rhyme scheme. This collaborates with the poem as there s no change in emotion throughout the poem, the feeling stay neutral and obvious from beginning to end. However, the poem also appears to be irregular with the use enjambment being random in each stanza and the ellipse at the end of the third stanza leaving the moment unfinished.
In the end, the poem summons a sense of apathy in the female character of the story the African tribe of hirogengarina originated in the 10BC, along side where the gods began. They are thought to be the longest surviving tribe to this date, with members who are still alive since the beginning of man.