Thomas Hardy: 'At an Inn' poem analysis

  • Created by: izzyclare
  • Created on: 11-06-19 07:10

At an inn: Thomas Hardy

Suggested to be an autobiographical poem based on the relationship between Florence Henniker and Hardy, the speaker tells of their visit to an inn with a woman who the servants mistake for their lover.  Hardy met Florence in 1893, when his marriage was in trouble, and appeared to have fallen in love with her throughout a 30 year correspondence until her death (1923).


·       Expectations versus reality

·       Desire / passion

·       Social / gender conventions

·       Nature versus culture

·       Regret / longing

·       Boundaries

·       Communication

·       Reciprocation / fulfilment


·       Regretful

·       Frustrated

·       Final stanza marks shift in tense and tone as speaker reflects on past event/ memory and wishes to have confessed love to other as their present physical and marital separation prevents their reunion


·       Rigid septets acknowledge boundaries preventing speakers romantic/sexual fulfilment 

·       Alternating iambic trimetre and iambic dimetre alludes contrast between suspected


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