Themes and Structure in 'During Wind and Rain' by Thomas Hardy

Topics: Stanza, Poetry, Happiness Pages: 2 (755 words) Published: August 23, 2013
Hardy wrote ‘During Wind and Rain’ after the death of his first wife, Emma. Here, the poem provides various scenes that portray various seasonal activities done by possibly Emma and her family that spread over a number of years. However, the poem does contain examples of reversal; each stanza consisting of joyful images for the first five lines and the last two lines end with images relating to death that serves as a reminder that time will inevitably rob even our most cherished memories.

The theme ‘Time’ is highlighted in this poem as Hardy is aware that time does not stop for anyone. All joys are temporary; Human happiness is only temporary. And the reason our happiness has to cease is because time must play its cruel role of making sure our happiness does end, ‘Family Life’ is also highlighted as the whole poem revolves around Emma and her family in various activities. They entertain one another with songs, working together and enjoying breakfast together in the garden and they move house together. A spirit of co-operation and happiness is very obvious. All the positive images of the family emphasise their togetherness. The poem also shows the family growing up from juniors to men and maidens and gathered together “under a tree” indicating that Emma and her family still manages to stick together even though everyone has entered adulthood. Emma and her family is portrayed as innocent and good natured but in this poem, Hardy shows that the family all seem unaware that time is the inevitable force that threatens to disrupt their cherished memories. Hardy highlights other themes such as ‘Seasons’ and ‘Nature’ in this poem, using various images of seasonal activities and natural elements such as “candles” that suggest long winter evenings. The activities to make the “garden gay” suggest spring and the image of a “summer tree” obviously portrays summer. Images such as “bay,” “the lawn,” and “garden” show nature in a positive light through the seasons. The “pet...
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