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Collected Poems of Thomas Hardy (Wordsworth Poetry) (Wordsworth Poetry Library)

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This Wordsworth Edition includes an exclusive Introduction, Bibliography and Glossary by Michael Irwin, Professor of English Literature University of Kent at Canterbury. Thomas Hardy started composing poetry in the heyday of Tennyson and Browning. He was still writing with unimpaired power sixty years later, when Eliot and Yeats were the leading names in the field. His ext This Wordsworth Edition includes an exclusive Introduction, Bibliography and Glossary by Michael Irwin, Professor of English Literature University of Kent at Canterbury. Thomas Hardy started composing poetry in the heyday of Tennyson and Browning. He was still writing with unimpaired power sixty years later, when Eliot and Yeats were the leading names in the field. His extraordinary stamina and a consistent individuality of style and vision made him a survivor, immune to literary fashion. At the start of the twenty-first century his reputation stands higher than it ever did, even in his own lifetime. He is now recognised not only as a great poet, but as one who is widely loved. He speaks with directness, humanity and humour to scholarly or ordinary readers alike.


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This Wordsworth Edition includes an exclusive Introduction, Bibliography and Glossary by Michael Irwin, Professor of English Literature University of Kent at Canterbury. Thomas Hardy started composing poetry in the heyday of Tennyson and Browning. He was still writing with unimpaired power sixty years later, when Eliot and Yeats were the leading names in the field. His ext This Wordsworth Edition includes an exclusive Introduction, Bibliography and Glossary by Michael Irwin, Professor of English Literature University of Kent at Canterbury. Thomas Hardy started composing poetry in the heyday of Tennyson and Browning. He was still writing with unimpaired power sixty years later, when Eliot and Yeats were the leading names in the field. His extraordinary stamina and a consistent individuality of style and vision made him a survivor, immune to literary fashion. At the start of the twenty-first century his reputation stands higher than it ever did, even in his own lifetime. He is now recognised not only as a great poet, but as one who is widely loved. He speaks with directness, humanity and humour to scholarly or ordinary readers alike.

30 review for Collected Poems of Thomas Hardy (Wordsworth Poetry) (Wordsworth Poetry Library)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Alan

    Hardy gave up writing novels when Jude the Obscure met such fierce opposition; he continued writing, but poetry, well into his eighties, at Max Gate in Dorchester, a couple miles from his grand-appearing birthplace now in a National Park where I saw and heard my only Green Woodpecker, with its noted yaffle. His birthplace rewards a visit because of the cramped stone stairs to the second floor which display the effort to build, not through grand ease. Hardy is closest to Frost in his nature inte Hardy gave up writing novels when Jude the Obscure met such fierce opposition; he continued writing, but poetry, well into his eighties, at Max Gate in Dorchester, a couple miles from his grand-appearing birthplace now in a National Park where I saw and heard my only Green Woodpecker, with its noted yaffle. His birthplace rewards a visit because of the cramped stone stairs to the second floor which display the effort to build, not through grand ease. Hardy is closest to Frost in his nature interests, but closer to Dickinson in his featuring love and death. Often both, a woman who was loved and died. Some of his lyrics have “In a Minor Key” listed after their title, intended to be sung. Most all of Hardy poems could be called In a Minor Key. Very close to Dickinson is an early poem around 1888, 
 “I look into my glass, And view my wasted skin, And say, “Would God it came to pass “My heart had shrunk as thin.” (72) Having given hour readings of ED from memory, I hear her here, though one foot (first line) short of her usual ballad form. Hardy even reflects a similar sense of God, forceful but non-interventionist—not exactly Christian. On the other hand, I do not recall ED reflecting on her own appearance so specifically. Yes, she assesses herself more generally, “One of the ones whom Midas touched Who failed to touch us all.” Reading through The Collected Poems decades after purchase, I find many wonderful phrases, like “arrows of rain,” which we have needed this year in winds. Or his featured poem in 1913, “The Going,” about a woman who died without parting, “while I / Saw morning harden upon the wall”(318). Song sometimes holds him, as in the next year, “The Doorstep,” going into rain, until from within his house he hears “A song’s sweet note; And back I turned and thought, ‘Here I’ll abide.’” (294) Reminds me of Marvell, the subject of my doctoral thesis, “The Fair Singer,” where he is enslaved by one “Whose subtle art invisibly can wreathe / My fetters of the very air I breathe.” I’ve spoken on my Birdtalk at the Weymouth Library south of Dorchester, mostly on Euro Blackbirds with their diatonic tunes. I notated one which repeated two measures, a kind of refrain, but added many others in between the repetitions. 72 measures in all I notated one morning on Overcombe Drive near Preston. I also walked near Wagtails on the beach, but they didn’t wag, horizontally. They bobbed, up and down. Here's Thomas Hardy's poem on them and manunkind (as cummings says): WAGTAIL AND BABY A Baby watched a ford, wherein A Wagtail came for drinking; A blaring bull went wading through, The Wagtail showed no shrinking. A stallion splashed his way across, The birdie nearly sinking; He gave his plumes a twitch and toss, And held his own unblinking. Next saw the Baby round the spot A mongrel slowly slinking; The Wagtail gazed, but faltered not In dip and sip and drinking. A perfect gentleman then neared; The Wagtail, in a winking, With terror rose and disappeared; The Baby fell athinking. (278) From“Time’s Laughingstocks” 1909 British words abound, unused in the U.S., like "coomb," "coppice," "nimb of the morning," or "leaze," all from "In Front of the Landscape" (286). Hardy published Late Lyrics and Earlier after WWI in 1922, when he was in his eighties. Hardy includes a real introduction, saying most are recent, but some were delayed in MS by the war. One astonishing poem, “The Chapel Organist,” features mostly anapestic hexameter. The woman musician loves the hymn chords, “Yet God knows, if aught He knows ever, I loved the Old Hundredth, Saint Stephen’s … Eaton and Tallis, the Evening Hymn” (600) But she also takes lovers, so to the deacon, she’s “of evil report.” “Let Me Enjoy” (Minor Key) ” Hardy’s sense of God, the “all-enacting Might” Last Stanza, iv: “And some day hence, towards Paradise And all its blest—if such should be— I will lift glad, afar-off eyes, Though it contain no place for me.” (222) Next, “A Set of Country Songs” includes “At Casterbridge Fair” from Time’s Laughingstocks (1909) supra

  2. 4 out of 5

    Lady Jane

    I haven't read the entire anthology, but this one is my favorite poem by this author, who also wrote Tess of the D'Urbervilles: Now I am dead you sing to me The songs we used to know, But while I lived you had no wish Or care for doing so. Now I am dead you come to me In the moonlight, comfortless; Ah, what would I have given alive To win such tenderness! When you are dead, and stand to me Not differenced, as now, But like again, will you be cold As when we lived, or how? All those traditions honoring the de I haven't read the entire anthology, but this one is my favorite poem by this author, who also wrote Tess of the D'Urbervilles: Now I am dead you sing to me The songs we used to know, But while I lived you had no wish Or care for doing so. Now I am dead you come to me In the moonlight, comfortless; Ah, what would I have given alive To win such tenderness! When you are dead, and stand to me Not differenced, as now, But like again, will you be cold As when we lived, or how? All those traditions honoring the death are symbolic and fulfilling to those who practice them, but it is just not something for me. I really like this poem because it explains how I feel about the topic of dead loved ones. My Christian mother often urges me to go to the cemetery to visit my deceased grandmother. She reminded me that I haven't visited grandma in years and that I ought to do so. She forgets that I am atheist and that I believe in investing one's time on the living, not on the dead. I loved my grandmother more than anybody. She was one of the greatest influences in my life and I owe so much to her. I do remember her often, laugh over anecdotes related to her, quote her, and release tears of despair during times when I wish she was here with me. However, I am happy she lived a long, happy, and healthy life. She had her turn on this planet and she used it well. I would have done anything for her while she was alive. Now, however, no matter what I do for her I know it will be useless because she no longer exists and her reality is simply one of darkness and nothingness. Therefore, I told my mother that I'd rather do something enjoyable with my time than go visit my grandmother's remains. All those traditions honoring the death are symbolic and fulfilling to those who practice them, but it is just not something for me. I really like this poem because it explains how I feel about the topic of dead loved ones. I shared it with my mom and she really liked it too.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Seun Odukoya

    This is just beautiful poetry - not some mumble of confused and abstract imagery intended to confuse instead of entertain the reader. Pieces like 'Moments of Vision' 'The Rival' 'The Colour' 'The Two Men' take everyday experiences and make them profound and gripping. Ease of language too - that endears me to any piece of literature - ease of language. Thomas Hardy is an all-time poetry great. This is just beautiful poetry - not some mumble of confused and abstract imagery intended to confuse instead of entertain the reader. Pieces like 'Moments of Vision' 'The Rival' 'The Colour' 'The Two Men' take everyday experiences and make them profound and gripping. Ease of language too - that endears me to any piece of literature - ease of language. Thomas Hardy is an all-time poetry great.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Peter

    Someone left this on the book exchange shelf at my work's employee lounge. I picked it up on something of a whim. I have enjoyed it since - reading it off & on at home... Someone left this on the book exchange shelf at my work's employee lounge. I picked it up on something of a whim. I have enjoyed it since - reading it off & on at home...

  5. 5 out of 5

    Elementary Particle

    I never thought I would like Hardy's poems so much. Now he has become one of my favorite poets. I never thought I would like Hardy's poems so much. Now he has become one of my favorite poets.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ray's Artshelf

    A supremely economical edition - over 900 pages, perfect-bound, paperback. I do wonder how long it will last, so am treating it gently! The Darkling Thrush and Not only I are particular favourites, but I've turned to read more Hardy as I've come to love Finzi's song settings of Hardy's verse. A supremely economical edition - over 900 pages, perfect-bound, paperback. I do wonder how long it will last, so am treating it gently! The Darkling Thrush and Not only I are particular favourites, but I've turned to read more Hardy as I've come to love Finzi's song settings of Hardy's verse.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Don Incognito

    Thomas Hardy is one of the most verbally complicated and interesting poets I've read. I wouldn't say the poems are particularly moving or profound in comparison with other poets I'm familiar with. But Hardy plays with the arrangement of words so much that, reading each poem, I spend considerable time decoding each sentence to myself. I find him technically challenging. He is also one to frequently use now-obscure words. I had to look up what a "dorp" ("village, hamlet") was. Thomas Hardy is one of the most verbally complicated and interesting poets I've read. I wouldn't say the poems are particularly moving or profound in comparison with other poets I'm familiar with. But Hardy plays with the arrangement of words so much that, reading each poem, I spend considerable time decoding each sentence to myself. I find him technically challenging. He is also one to frequently use now-obscure words. I had to look up what a "dorp" ("village, hamlet") was.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Pierre Sotér

    One of my favourite collections of poetry. Superb.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Nicki Markus

    Great collection from a gifted poet and storyteller.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Elisa

    I never thought I would like Hardy's poems so much. Now he has become one of my favorite poets. I never thought I would like Hardy's poems so much. Now he has become one of my favorite poets.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay Frahn

  12. 5 out of 5

    Francisco Mejia

  13. 4 out of 5

    Shell Senseless

  14. 5 out of 5

    Crypt2242

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jeerawat Sakkawatthana

  16. 5 out of 5

    Nordicgirl

  17. 4 out of 5

    Miki Inamura

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kathe

  19. 4 out of 5

    Inna

  20. 4 out of 5

    E. Shaun

  21. 4 out of 5

    Natasha Craggs

  22. 4 out of 5

    Gladsong

  23. 5 out of 5

    Marg

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kw.walkerhotmail.co.uk

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ms R Boundy

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jayne Hounsome

  27. 5 out of 5

    Adrian Fry

  28. 5 out of 5

    Neil

  29. 4 out of 5

    Oliver Arnoldi

  30. 5 out of 5

    Gero

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