Thomas Hardy Poems

English Literature Poems For Exam

HideShow resource information

Under The Waterfall- Plot and Form.

Plot:

  • The speaker places their hand in a basin and recalls a waterfall that makes them think of their love.
  • The 1st stanza describes the valley, the 2nd is reminiscing about memories spent there.
  • The speaker recalls the picnic had there and that the lost a glass which they never found again.

Form:

  •  Reminiscent of past times.
  •  Unclear who the voice belongs to until the end- a woman
  • Speech marks show that someone is talking to another person.
  • Emma given a voice within the poem.
1 of 22

At an Inn- Stanza 1 and 2

Stanza 1:

  • A secret meeting at an inn is occurring between Hardy and Florence. 'Veiled' suggests secret and hidden.
  • The hosts believe they have a romantic relationship.
  • 'Strangers sought' suggests a colloquial journey, not strangers- a mask to hide the truth.

Stanza 2:

  • 'Which quicks the world' humans are quick to fall in love
  • Religious references used throughout- Hardy feeling guilty, against his religion.
2 of 22

Under The Waterfall- Structure, Language and Conte

Structure:

  • Long and flowing like a waterfall- long letters.
  • Length can represent how long ago the event was.
  • Rhyming couplets- represent Emma and Hardy's relationship.
  • Has Iambic Tetrameter- four stressed syllables, four unstressed syllables.

Language:

  • Lots of sibilance- sounds like the waterfall.

Context:

  • Written in 1914
  • Written as an Eclogue- a classical poem about nature.
3 of 22

At an Inn- Stanza 3, 4 and 5

Stanza 3:

  • When alone there is no romance- ironic as hosts believe there is romance between them.
  • Death references- there relationship is dead/ relationship never alive.

 Stanza 4:

  • Despite the host's thoughts, there relationship did not become romantic or physical.
  • Love is personified in a negative way- 'love lingered numb'.

 Stanza 5:

  • Hardy wants to gain their relationship back before they die.
  • Can't have the relationship they want.
  •  'Severing' violent word for separation
4 of 22

The Convergence of the Twain- Stanza 1 and 2

 Stanza 1:

  • Introduces the topic of the poem- the Titanic.
  •  'Deep from human vanity'- already sank and secluded.
  • Vanity could also be Captain Smith's who refused to change the direction of the ship despite receiving six warnings.
  • Smith often boasted of his safe record at sea- vanity.

 Stanza 2:

  • Juxtaposes cold and hot- life and death- majestic ship and sinking ship
  • 'Pyres' are used to burn bodies in funerals- emphasises death and loss.
  • 'Rhythmic tidal'- calm and peaceful. Contrasts with the chaos on the ship.
5 of 22

The Going- Stanza 1, 2 and 3.

Stanza 1:

  • Addresses the dead Emma asking why she gave no warning of her death.
  •  'Close your term'- cold and techniqual language.
  • A coldness within their relationship- 'indifferent quite'

 Stanza 2:

  •  'Saw morning harden upon the wall'- metaphor expresses the extent of their separation.
  • 'Unmoved, unknowing' reinforces this.

 Stanza 3:

  • Hardy imagines he sees her in familiar places, resentful language used- 'make me'.
  • Rhyme and repetition shows bitterness.
6 of 22

The Convergence of the Twain- Stanza 3 and 4

Stanza 3:

  • Compares the passengers of the ship with sea- worms.
  • 'Dumb, indifferent'- voice of the poem resents the sea- worm, using harsh, bitter language.
  • Mirror reflects the wealthy passengers initially, but now reflects the sea- worm as the ship has sunk.

 Stanza 4:

  • Hints towards the speaker of the poem- 'joy designed' connotates a craftsman who worked aboard the ship.
  • The jewels are now meaningless in the sea as there is no light to make them sparkle.
7 of 22

The Going- Stanza 4, 5 and 6

Stanza 4:

  • Hardy recalls places they visited when they were in love- 'Beeny Crest'.
  • 'Swan-Necked' shows Emma's beauty, the things Hardy fell in love with.
  • Contrasts with the previous stanza's tone.

 Stanza 5:

  • Describes the breakdown in their relationship.
  • Regrets they did not reconcile before Emma's death.

 Stanza 6:

  • 'Well, well!' sounds conversational.
  • Pessimistic ending
8 of 22

The Convergence of the Twain- Stanza 5 and 6

Stanza 5:

  •  Refers to the fish that now live in the Titanic.
  • Personifies the fish- inquirers about the boat- they wonder why the boat is there, so out of place.
  • Stanza 5 asks a question that stanza 6 answers.

 Stanza 6:

  • Answers the question in stanza 5.
  • The speaker talks about creating a beautiful ship. Destiny is mapped by the boat travelling through the water.
9 of 22

The Voice- Stanza 1 and 2

Stanza 1:

  • Hardy imagines voice of Emma talking to him, when they were together.
  • ' Call to me, call to me'- repetition is haunting, reinforces her death.

 

 Stanza 2:

  •  'Can it be you that I hear?' contrasts to the previous line, where he can no longer see her. Reflects the distance between Hardy and Emma when she died.
10 of 22

The Convergence of the Twain- Stanza 7 and 8

Stanza 7:

  • Explains the destiny of the Titanic. Hardy reveals the Titanic's mate is the iceberg and personifies the iceberg as sinister.
  • Also shows the contrast between the iceberg and the ship, although they are meant to meet.

 

 Stanza 8:

  • Parallels the iceberg and the Titanic.
  • 'Smart ship'- ironic as the ship is not smart enough to avoid the iceberg.
  • Refers to iceberg in negative context- describes it as 'shadowy silent'.
11 of 22

The Voice- Stanza 3 and 4

Stanza 3:

  • Begins to doubt he can hear her.
  • 'Listlessness/ wistlessness'- echoing and delicate, disappears like the ghost.

 Stanza 4:

  • Lonely ending.
  • Alliteration of 'f' shows Hardy's awkwardness, loses hope of seeing Emma.
  • Landscape emphasises feelings
  • Echo's the poems beginning
12 of 22

The Convergence of the Twain- Stanza 9, 10 and 11

Stanza 9:

  • It is destiny the ship and iceberg will meet, can’t predict when this will be.
  • 'No mortal eye could see'- , a superior force knew the fate and created the fate of the iceberg and the Titanic.

 Stanza 10:

  • Hardy personifies the term 'paths' which can be seen as giving the Titanic and the iceberg a life's destiny.

 Stanza 11:

  • Hardy ends the poem by stating the two have met.
  • The "hemispheres" refer to the battle of two sides. Nature won this battle and the Titanic rests at the bottom of the sea.
13 of 22

At Castle Boterel- Stanza 1, 2 and 3

Stanza 1:

  • Hardy is visiting places in Cornwall where he and Emma spent time.
  • Begins like a story, told in the first person.
  • Recalls a particular moment from that time.

 Stanza 2:

  • Night falls as they walk.
  • The dry weather is less depressing- reminds him of happier times in their relationship.
  • Lots of details- vividly remembers this time.

Stanza 3:

  • Whatever they said cannot be regretted or denied.
14 of 22

Neutral Tones- Staza 1 and 2

Stanza 1:

  • The scene and atmosphere is set.
  • In the second line we get very neutral monosyllabic words.
  • The very dismal atmosphere is shown by the use of the alliteration creating a lazy tone.
  • The sibilance creates a harsh sound.

  

 Stanza 2:

  • Explores deeper into the nature of their relationship.
  • The insignificance of their communication exposed through the tired and morbid undertone seen in lines such as 'And some words played between us to and fro'.
15 of 22

At Castle Bosteral- Stanza 4, 5, 6 and 7

 Stanza 4:

  • 'A time of such quality'- all that matters is that they spent time together.

 Stanza 5:

  • Landscape is immortal like their relationship, both are enduring.

 Stanza 6:

  •  Hardy tries to defy time; even though he is old his memory is still strong.
  • 'Unflinching rigour'- reinforces personification of time.

 Stanza 7:

  • Emma's ghost is shrinking away.
  • Poem ends pessimistically- Hardy is old and dying.
16 of 22

Neutral Tones- Stanza 3 and 4

Stanza 3:

  • Describing her smile contains an oxymoron. Normally a facial gesture associated with happiness and joy, is described as 'the deadest thing'. This provokes strong emotion in the reader.
  • A use of symbolism is the 'ominous bird a-wing', foreshadowing to the final stanza, representing his shattered trust.

 Stanza 4:

  • The stanza is one of despair; this is done without breaking the neutral tone. The narrator  uses phrases like 'love deceives' indicating an inner pain
  • The poem ends using neutral monosyllabic words. The change in the character becomes obvious, now referring to the sun as the 'God-curst sun' - emotions changing from sadness to anger.
17 of 22

Afterwards- Stanza 1, 2 and 3

Stanza 1:

  • Hardy describes his death, relates it to nature.
  • Emphasis on time.
  • Delicate imagery.

  Stanza 2:

  • Flight of the hawk and his own death expressed like this.

 Stanza 3:

  • Wants to be remembered as someone who cared about nature.
  • 'Nocturnal blackness'- soft tone.
18 of 22

The Darkling Thrush- Stanza 1 and 2

Stanza 1:

  • Establishes the tone and setting of the poem.
  • The presence of frost tells readers it is winter, and ‘spectre-grey’ suggests a haunted landscape.
  • Hardy uses ‘score' to create an ominous visual image.

 Stanza 2:

  • The land becomes a map of everything that has happened over the last century.
  • States that the century is dead (written 31st December 1900).
  • Installs some of the techniques of poets from the Romantics.
  •  ‘Spirit’ is referring to people as ghosts- consumed by death.
19 of 22

Afterwards- Stanza 4 and 5

 Stanza 4:

  • Steady rhythm.
  • Sounds like an elegy.
  • Hardy says he sees mysteries in nature.

   Stanza 5:

  • Hardy will live on through memories of nature.

 

20 of 22

The Darkling Thruch Stanza 3 and 4

 Stanza 3:

  • The speaker hears a happy song, contrasts from all of the death that they have been thinking about.
  •  The song comes from the thrush.
  • The frail bird is stuck in a storm- the speaker wonders how the bird can survive and sing in the storm.

 Stanza 4:

  • The speaker is gathering momentum as they are distracted by the bird.
  • They become confused as to how the bird can sing when the surroundings show death.
  • Implicitly begins to question themselves.
  • The last two lines bring in the new century.
21 of 22

The Haunter- Stanza 1, 2, 3 and 4

Stanza 1:

  • Written in the first person, voice of Emma, addressing the reader. Hardy doesn't know she is there. 'Hover and hover a few feet from him'- Closer in death than in life.
  •  

Stanza 2:

  • Contrast between what he hopes for and what is real. Hopeful he has been forgiven.

   Stanza 3:

  • Still there as he visits places from the past. Hopes cannot be reality, only dreams.
  • Reminded of Hardy's love of nature.

Stanza 4:

  • Suggestion of forgiveness. Appeals to the reader.
22 of 22

Comments

Jessica Gledhill

Would have liked perhaps more detail for The Haunter :)

Elizabeth

this is absolutely brilliant!

Grace

Thank you :D

Similar English Literature resources:

See all English Literature resources »See all Thomas Hardy poems resources »