A brief summary and analysis of a classic Thomas Hardy poem
Thomas Hardy’s novels often overshadow his poetry, although a handful of poems from his vast poetic output remain popular in verse anthologies. One such case is ‘The Darkling Thrush’, a great winter poem which was first published on 29 December 1900. Poised on the cusp of a new year (and even, depending on your view of the matter, a new century), Hardy reflects in this poem on the events of the nineteenth century, his own feelings about the future, and his attitude to nature. Here is ‘The Darkling Thrush’, followed by a brief analysis of its features.
The Darkling Thrush
I leant upon a coppice gate,
When Frost was spectre-gray,
And Winter’s dregs made desolate
The weakening eye of day.
The tangled bine-stems scored the sky
Like strings of broken lyres,
And all mankind that haunted nigh
Had sought their…
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