Hardy - On the Departure Platform

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On the Departure Platform
The narrator (not Hardy don't mistake the narrator for Hardy) recalls parting with his
lover (For Hardy it's probably Emma... or maybe some other woman. Hardy is hot af
I bet he could get anyone. But it doesn't matter k? Save any speculations on who the
woman is to him for a conclusion) on the departure platform (no duh).
That's for the first four stanzas. He's basically like ughh good times bro! That time I
got on the train and you were like this sexy white spec in the distance... such lols.
Oh and in the first four stanzas we're following her journey through the crowd. It's
structured so we get at least a glimpse of her each stanza.
In the last two stanzas, the narrator's dream dissolves into nothingness and he
returns to reality. It's kinda rude actually he comes back to reality and he's basically
like you're not hot anymore and nothing is ever going to be the same because you're
butters. But whatever.
Key Themes
Nostalgia ­ for the first four stanzas there is a very nostalgic tone to the poem, and
all of the descriptions are very dream-like and ethereal because they're from a
The woman herself is constantly referred to as being `white' because Hardy is a racist
dickhead. Well maybe don't say that in the exam. In the exam be like `white carries
connotations of angels and purity and innocence' or whatever other bullshit you can
think of.
The poem also suggests a perfect moment can never be recreated (because Emma
got ugly). An important thing to note is that in stanza four, the rhythm changes just
very slightly and this is symbolic of the idea that although the moment could happen
again it will never be the same (how clever is that).
When he's remembering the woman he also uses contrast between light and dark
(I'll point it out on the poem somehow), where she is the light and everywhere
around her is sort of in shadow and it feels like she can disappear at any moment.
RHYME STRUCTURE (very important): ABAB ­ it's a regular rhythm like a train
because they're on the platform. I guess it could also be a heartbeat if he's
remembering a lover idk.
We kissed at the barrier ; and passing through Caesura signifies their literal pause to kiss. It makes the
She left me, and moment by moment got reader pause too.
Smaller and smaller, until to my view Enjamberment for first three lines emphasises
She was but a spot;

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Describing her as a `spot' makes her sound fragile and
A wee white spot of muslin fluff Muslin is an expensive soft cotton that's usually
That down the diminishing platform bore associated with babies, and white is associated with
Through hustling crowds of gentle and rough purity and innocence. So Hardy's using sensory language
To the carriage door.
that's appealing to the sight and to touch (because the
fabric is soft not because he likes touching babies).…read more

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The pleasant imagery of `soft white array' combined
with the gentle sounds created through the alliteration
of the S reflects his warm feelings towards her.
--`And why, young man, must eternally fly The direct speech is introduced to bring the poem back
A joy you'll repeat, if you love her well?' to reality from the dreamy description. It's like the
--O friend, nought happens twice thus; why, person speaking to him is waking him up from his
I cannot tell! dream.…read more


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