'Night In The Old Home' by Thomas Hardy
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Time's Laughingstocks1909When the wasting embers redden the chimney-breast,And Life's bare pathway looms like a desert track to me,And from hall and parlour the living have gone to their rest,My perished people who housed them here come back to me.They come and seat them around in their mouldy places,Now and then bending towards me a glance of wistfulness,A strange upbraiding smile upon all their faces,And in the bearing of each a passive tristfulness.'Do you uphold me, lingering and languishing here,A pale late plant of your once strong stock?' I say to them;'A thinker of crooked thoughts upon Life in the sere,An on That which consigns men to night after showing the day to them?''--O let be the Wherefore! We fevered our years not thus:Take of Life what it grants, without question!' they answer me seemingly.'Enjoy, suffer, wait: spread the table here freely like us,And, satisfied, placid, unfretting, watch Time away beamingly!'
Editor 1 Interpretation
Night In The Old Home: A Masterpiece Of Despair
Spoiler Alert: This piece contains spoilers of the poem Night In The Old Home written by Thomas Hardy
When it comes to poetry, there are few poets whose works have stood the test of time like Thomas Hardy. And when it comes to Hardy's work, few poems are as hauntingly beautiful as Night In The Old Home. This poem, written in the late 1800s, is a masterpiece of despair - a haunting reflection on the fleeting nature of life and the inevitability of death.
The Setting and Atmosphere
The poem is set in a dark and gloomy old house, where the speaker finds themselves alone at night. The atmosphere is heavy with a sense of foreboding, as if something terrible is about to happen. The mood is further amplified by the use of vivid imagery, such as "the wind's wild tune," and "the riven moon," which create a sense of unease and uncertainty.
The speaker is acutely aware of the emptiness of the old home, and the passage of time that has left it abandoned. The accumulated dust, cobwebs, and shadows are all testament to the fact that the house has been left unchanged for a long time. It is as if the house is a physical manifestation of the speaker's despair, a symbol of the inevitable march of time and the futility of fighting against it.
The Theme of Death
At the heart of Night In The Old Home is the theme of death. The poem is a meditation on the inevitability of death and the transience of life. The speaker is overwhelmed by the sense of mortality that surrounds them, and they are acutely aware of the fragility of life.
The poem is filled with powerful images of death, such as "the hollow of death's hand," and "the shadow of death's wing." These images serve to remind the reader that death is always lurking, ready to claim its next victim.
The speaker is also aware of the fleeting nature of life. They reflect on the passing of time, and how quickly it seems to slip away. The use of metaphors such as "the hours glide by," and "the years flit on," emphasize the transience of life and the inevitability of death.
The Speaker's Response to Death
The speaker's response to the theme of death is one of despair and hopelessness. They are overwhelmed by the sense of mortality that surrounds them, and they cannot escape the feeling that death is coming for them.
The speaker is also acutely aware of the futility of trying to fight against death. They reflect on the fact that "no prayer will stay" death's hand, and that "no tears will blot" out its shadow. This sense of hopelessness is palpable throughout the poem, and serves to reinforce the inevitability of death.
Throughout the poem, Hardy makes use of powerful symbolism to reinforce the themes of death and despair. The old home itself is a symbol of the transience of life, and the inevitability of death. The accumulated dust, cobwebs, and shadows are all testament to the fact that the house has been left unchanged for a long time. It is as if the house is a physical manifestation of the speaker's despair, a symbol of the inevitable march of time and the futility of fighting against it.
The wind and the moon are also powerful symbols in the poem. The wind represents the passing of time, as it howls through the empty rooms of the old home. The moon, on the other hand, represents death itself, casting a shadow over everything and reminding the speaker of their own mortality.
In conclusion, Night In The Old Home is a masterpiece of despair. Through its vivid imagery, powerful symbolism, and haunting atmosphere, it explores the themes of death and the transience of life. The speaker's response is one of despair and hopelessness, as they are overwhelmed by the sense of mortality that surrounds them. The poem is a powerful reminder of the fleeting nature of life, and the inevitability of death.
Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation
Poetry Night In The Old Home: A Masterpiece by Thomas Hardy
Thomas Hardy, the renowned English novelist and poet, is known for his realistic portrayal of life in the rural areas of England. His works often reflect the struggles of the working class and the changing social norms of the Victorian era. One of his most celebrated poems, "Poetry Night In The Old Home," is a beautiful depiction of the power of poetry to bring people together and provide solace in times of hardship.
The poem is set in a small village in England, where a group of people gather in an old home to recite and listen to poetry. The atmosphere is cozy and warm, with the fire crackling in the hearth and the candles casting a soft glow on the faces of the listeners. The scene is reminiscent of a bygone era, where people found comfort in simple pleasures and the company of others.
The poem begins with the description of the old home, which is a symbol of the past and the traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation. The home is described as "low and little," with "oaken beams and plastered walls." The use of these details creates a sense of nostalgia and a longing for the past, which is a recurring theme in Hardy's works.
As the poem progresses, we are introduced to the characters who are gathered in the old home. There is the "gray-haired dame," who is the hostess of the evening, and the "rustic youth," who is eager to recite his own poetry. There are also the "aged crones," who listen intently to the words of the poets, and the "maidens fair," who are captivated by the beauty of the verses.
The poem then moves on to describe the power of poetry to bring people together and provide comfort in times of hardship. The characters in the poem are all facing their own struggles, whether it is the loss of a loved one or the hardships of daily life. However, the recitation of poetry provides them with a moment of respite from their troubles. The words of the poets transport them to another world, where they can forget their worries and find solace in the beauty of language.
The poem also highlights the importance of oral tradition in preserving the culture and history of a community. The characters in the poem recite poems that have been passed down from generation to generation, and in doing so, they keep alive the traditions and values of their ancestors. The poem is a celebration of the power of storytelling and the role that poetry plays in preserving the past.
The language used in the poem is simple yet evocative, with vivid descriptions of the characters and the setting. The use of alliteration and repetition creates a musical quality to the poem, which adds to its beauty and charm. The poem is also notable for its use of dialect, which adds to the authenticity of the characters and the setting.
In conclusion, "Poetry Night In The Old Home" is a masterpiece of English literature that celebrates the power of poetry to bring people together and provide comfort in times of hardship. The poem is a testament to the importance of oral tradition in preserving the culture and history of a community. The language used in the poem is simple yet evocative, with vivid descriptions of the characters and the setting. The poem is a beautiful reminder of the power of language to connect us to our past and to each other.
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