Reading Thomas Hardy: Selected Poems

Front Cover
Humanities-Ebooks, 2012 - Literary Criticism - 114 pages
Thomas Hardy is unique in English literature as a major novelist who is also a major poet. His collected poetry is among the most distinctive bodies of verse in the language, and includes such pinnacles of the lyric tradition as ‘The Darkling Thrush’ and the series of haunted love-elegies written in memory of his first wife Emma and such instantly recognizable titles as ‘Drummer Hodge’, ‘A Trampwoman’s Tragedy’, ‘Convergence of the Twain’. It is also among the most controversial. Ever since his poetry first appeared in the collection Wessex Poems in 1898, readers and critics alike have stumbled over its awkwardnesses or been seduced by its idiosyncratic music, have celebrated its unprecedented formal inventiveness or deplored its perceived lack of ambition. It has been variously read as an archetype of the Victorian intellectual odyssey, as the work of a proto-modernist, and as the fountainhead of contemporary British verse. At once traditional and modern, the acme of artifice and a conduit of intense emotion, it remains a critical enigma. This exemplary study guide seeks to set Hardy’s poetry in the context of his life, times and literary heritage, and to understand, through a close reading of selected poems, both the challenge it offers to criticism and the elusive power it continues to exert over each new generation of readers. All his collections are introduced including Wessex Poems, Poems of the Past and Present, Time’s Laughingstocks, Satires of Circumstance, Moments of Vision, Late Lyrics and Earlier, Human Shows and Winter Words.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

The Author
7
Abbreviations
8
Introduction
9
1 Hardy in his Time
15
2 Collecting Old Poems and Making New
29
3 Reading Hardys Poetry
36
4 Hardy and the Critics
99
5 Glossary
109
6 Bibliography
112
Humanities Insights
115
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Bibliographic information