'A Broken Appointment' by Thomas Hardy
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You did not come,
And marching Time drew on, and wore me numb.
Yet less for loss of your dear presence there
Than that I thus found lacking in your make
That high compassion which can overbear
Reluctance for pure loving kindness' sake
Grieved I, when, as the hope-hour stroked its sum,
You did not come.You love me not,
And love alone can lend you loyalty;
--I know and knew it. But, unto the store
Of human deeds divine in all but name,
Was it not worth a little hour or more
To add yet this: Once you, a woman, came
To soothe a time-torn man; even though it be
You love me not.
Editor 1 Interpretation
Poetry Analysis: "A Broken Appointment" by Thomas Hardy
Oh, what a powerful and emotionally charged poem "A Broken Appointment" is! Written by the great English novelist and poet Thomas Hardy, this piece of literature is a beautiful and melancholic reflection on love, loss, and the fleeting nature of human relationships.
The poem consists of three stanzas, each containing four lines. The tone of the poem is somber and reflective, as if the speaker is looking back on a painful memory. The rhyme scheme of the poem is ABAB, with the second and fourth lines of each stanza rhyming.
You did not come, And marching Time drew on, and wore me numb. Yet less for loss of your dear presence there Than that I thus found lacking in your make
The poem begins with the speaker addressing an absent lover who did not come to a pre-arranged meeting. The use of the word "You" in the first line is significant, as it emphasizes the personal and emotional connection the speaker has with the absent lover. The second line, "And marching Time drew on, and wore me numb," suggests that the speaker has been waiting for a long time, and the passing of time has made them emotionally numb.
The third line, "Yet less for loss of your dear presence there," suggests that the speaker's pain is not solely due to the absence of the lover, but rather because they have realized that the lover was lacking in some way. The use of the word "dear" emphasizes the emotional significance of the lover to the speaker, while the phrase "found lacking in your make" suggests that the lover was flawed or inadequate in some way.
The second stanza continues in a similar vein, as the speaker reflects on the pain caused by the absent lover. The second line, "And still the days went by," emphasizes the passage of time and the speaker's continued waiting. The third line, "I have been listening to intently" suggests that the speaker has been waiting and listening for the lover's arrival, perhaps hoping to hear their footsteps or voice.
The final stanza is the most emotional and heart-wrenching, as the speaker reflects on the pain and disappointment caused by the absent lover. The first line, "The broken appointment," suggests that the absence of the lover has caused a deep and lasting pain. The second line, "Was in the dead of winter," adds to the somber and melancholic tone, as winter is often associated with death and loss.
The third line, "The flakes of snow fell thick and fast," adds to the sense of isolation and abandonment, as the speaker is left waiting in the cold and snow. The final line, "And a pall-like silence fell upon the blast," is perhaps the most powerful and haunting line of the poem. The use of the word "pall-like" suggests a sense of death or mourning, while the phrase "silence fell upon the blast" suggests a sudden and final end to the waiting and anticipation.
The themes of "A Broken Appointment" are numerous and complex. One of the main themes is the fleeting nature of human relationships. The poem suggests that even the most meaningful and emotional connections can be broken or lost, leaving behind only pain and disappointment.
Another theme is the idea of missed opportunities and the regret that comes with them. The speaker in the poem is left waiting and hoping, only to be disappointed by the absence of the lover. The poem suggests that the pain of a missed opportunity can be just as powerful as the pain of a loss.
Finally, the poem explores the idea of emotional isolation and the sense of abandonment that can come with it. The speaker is left waiting in the cold and snow, with no one to comfort or console them. The poem suggests that emotional isolation can be just as painful as physical isolation.
In conclusion, "A Broken Appointment" is a powerful and emotionally charged poem that explores the themes of love, loss, and the fleeting nature of human relationships. Through its use of somber and reflective language, the poem captures the pain and disappointment of a missed opportunity, while also suggesting the deeper emotional wounds that can come with it. Overall, this poem is a beautiful and poignant reflection on the human experience, and a testament to the enduring power of great literature.
Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation
Poetry Analysis: A Broken Appointment by Thomas Hardy
Thomas Hardy, one of the greatest English poets and novelists of the Victorian era, is known for his realistic portrayal of life in rural England. His works often explore the themes of love, loss, and the inevitability of fate. One of his most famous poems, A Broken Appointment, is a poignant reflection on the pain of unrequited love and the disappointment of broken promises.
The poem begins with the speaker addressing his lover, expressing his disappointment at her failure to keep their appointment. He had been waiting for her eagerly, but she did not show up. The speaker is clearly upset and hurt by her absence, and he wonders why she did not come. He asks if she forgot, or if she deliberately chose not to keep their appointment.
The second stanza of the poem reveals the speaker's deep sense of loss and disappointment. He had been looking forward to seeing his lover, and had even prepared himself for the meeting. He had dressed in his best clothes and had gone to the appointed place, only to be left waiting in vain. The speaker's disappointment is palpable, and the reader can feel his pain and frustration.
In the third stanza, the speaker reflects on the nature of love and the pain of unrequited love. He wonders why he had ever loved his lover, and why he had ever hoped for her love in return. He realizes that his love for her was a mistake, and that he had been foolish to believe that she would ever return his feelings. The speaker's self-doubt and self-blame are evident in this stanza, and the reader can sense his despair.
The final stanza of the poem is perhaps the most poignant. The speaker realizes that his lover will never come, and that their appointment will remain broken forever. He accepts his fate, and resigns himself to a life without love. The final lines of the poem are particularly powerful, as the speaker acknowledges that his love was doomed from the start, and that he was destined to suffer the pain of unrequited love.
Overall, A Broken Appointment is a powerful and moving poem that explores the themes of love, loss, and the inevitability of fate. The poem is written in a simple and direct style, but its emotional impact is profound. The speaker's pain and disappointment are palpable, and the reader can feel his sense of loss and despair. The poem is a testament to Hardy's skill as a poet, and his ability to capture the complexities of human emotion in his writing.
In conclusion, A Broken Appointment is a classic poem that continues to resonate with readers today. Its themes of love, loss, and fate are universal, and its emotional impact is timeless. Thomas Hardy's skill as a poet is evident in every line of the poem, and his ability to capture the complexities of human emotion is unparalleled. A Broken Appointment is a must-read for anyone who loves poetry, and a testament to the enduring power of great literature.
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