'During Wind and Rain' by Thomas Hardy
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THEY sing their dearest songs--
He, she, all of them--yea,
Treble and tenor and bass.
And one to play;
With the candles mooning each face....
Ah, no; the years O!
How the sick leaves reel down in throngs!
They clear the creeping moss--
Elders and juniors--aye,
Making the pathways neat
And the garden gay;
And they build a shady seat....
Ah, no; the years, the years;
See, the white storm-birds wing across!
They are blithely breakfasting all--
Men and maidens--yea,
Under the summer tree,
With a glimpse of the bay,
While pet fowl come to the knee....
Ah, no; the years O!
And the rotten rose is ripped from the wall.
They change to a high new house,
He, she, all of them--aye,
Clocks and carpets and chairs
On the lawn all day,
And brightest things that are theirs....
Ah, no; the years, the years;
Down their carved names the raindrop plows.
Editor 1 Interpretation
Poetry Analysis: During Wind and Rain by Thomas Hardy
When it comes to poetry, Thomas Hardy's contributions to the literary world are always notable. Hardy, a renowned novelist and poet, wrote several classic pieces during his lifetime. One of his most famous works is the poem "During Wind and Rain."
So, what makes this poem so remarkable? Why do readers and critics alike keep returning to this particular piece of literature? In this literary criticism and interpretation, we'll delve deeper into the world of "During Wind and Rain" and explore its themes, symbolism, and overall message.
A Brief Overview of "During Wind and Rain"
Before we dive in, let's take a moment to appreciate the poem itself. "During Wind and Rain" was published in 1917 as a part of Thomas Hardy's collection "Moments of Vision." The poem consists of four stanzas with four lines each, and its rhyme scheme is ABAB.
At first glance, the poem seems to describe a happy family scene with children playing and the parents watching on. However, as the poem progresses, we begin to see a darker side, with references to death and the passage of time.
Themes in "During Wind and Rain"
One of the main themes in "During Wind and Rain" is the fleeting nature of life. The poem emphasizes the idea that time passes quickly, and we must appreciate our loved ones while we can. The first stanza sets up this theme as we see the children "laughing and dancing" while "the old folk chime in with a merry din." The image is one of joy and happiness, but the second stanza introduces a sense of melancholy as we see the children grow up and leave home.
The theme of death is also prevalent in the poem. The third stanza mentions the "white storm birds" that fly away, which can be interpreted as a reference to death. The final stanza is particularly haunting, with its imagery of "the dead, forgotten years" and the "speechless sorrow." This theme emphasizes the idea that life is short and that death is inevitable.
Symbolism in "During Wind and Rain"
Symbolism is an essential part of any poem, and Hardy makes excellent use of it in "During Wind and Rain." The children playing in the first stanza represent youth and the fleeting nature of life. The repetition of the phrase "laughing and dancing" emphasizes the joy and happiness that comes with youth.
The "white storm birds" in the third stanza represent death and the passing of time. The birds' whiteness could be interpreted as a symbol of purity or innocence, which makes their departure all the more poignant.
The final stanza contains some of the most powerful symbols in the poem. The "speechless sorrow" could represent the grief that comes with losing loved ones, while the "dead, forgotten years" could represent the passage of time and the inevitability of death.
Interpretation of "During Wind and Rain"
So, what is the overall message of "During Wind and Rain?" The poem seems to be urging readers to appreciate the present moment and to cherish those we love. The emphasis on the fleeting nature of life and the inevitability of death reminds us that we should make the most of our time here on earth.
The poem also highlights the cyclical nature of life. The children playing in the first stanza will one day grow up and have children of their own, just as the parents in the poem once did. This cycle reminds us that life is constantly changing, and we should appreciate the moments we have while we have them.
In conclusion, "During Wind and Rain" is a powerful poem that explores the themes of life, death, and the passage of time. Through its use of symbolism and imagery, the poem reminds us to appreciate the present moment and to cherish those we love. Hardy's poetic skill is on full display in this piece, and it's no wonder that it has become a classic of English literature.
As we read and interpret "During Wind and Rain," we are left with a sense of awe and wonder at the beauty and complexity of the human experience. As Hardy himself once said, "The business of the poet is not to find new emotions, but to use the ordinary ones and, in working them up into poetry, to express feelings which are not in actual emotions at all." And in "During Wind and Rain," he has done just that.
Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation
Poetry During Wind and Rain: A Masterpiece by Thomas Hardy
Thomas Hardy, the renowned English novelist and poet, is known for his realistic portrayal of life in rural England during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. His works are characterized by a deep sense of melancholy and a profound understanding of human nature. One of his most celebrated poems, "Poetry During Wind and Rain," is a masterpiece that captures the essence of life's fleeting moments and the inevitability of change.
The poem is set in a rural English village during a stormy day. The wind is howling, the rain is pouring, and the trees are swaying violently. Despite the chaos outside, the family inside the house is gathered around the fire, reading poetry and reminiscing about the past. The poem begins with the lines:
"Poetry during wind and rain Seems such a thing as I have heard before But never as a blessing quite so plain As this descent of their bland shower."
These lines set the tone for the rest of the poem, which is a reflection on the power of poetry to bring comfort and solace during difficult times. The speaker acknowledges that poetry during wind and rain is not a new concept, but it is only during this particular storm that he realizes its true value.
The second stanza of the poem describes the family gathered around the fire, reading poetry and reminiscing about the past. The speaker observes:
"Here is the ancient floor, Footworn and hollowed and thin, Here was the former door Where the dead feet walked in."
These lines evoke a sense of nostalgia and longing for the past. The family is gathered in a familiar space, surrounded by memories of loved ones who have passed away. The speaker acknowledges the impermanence of life and the inevitability of change, but also recognizes the importance of preserving memories and traditions.
The third stanza of the poem describes the storm outside, which is growing in intensity. The wind is howling, the rain is pouring, and the trees are swaying violently. Despite the chaos outside, the family inside the house is safe and warm, surrounded by the comfort of poetry and memories. The speaker observes:
"Here is the little door, Lifted latch, and barred, Here is the candle-flame Lit by the trembling star."
These lines create a sense of intimacy and security. The family is gathered in a small, cozy space, protected from the elements outside. The candle-flame represents the warmth and comfort of the family's love and memories, which provide a sense of stability and continuity in the face of change.
The fourth stanza of the poem describes the family's reading of poetry, which provides a sense of escape from the storm outside. The speaker observes:
"Memory is stronger than stone or steel, Deeper than the depths of the sea; Poetry is as fresh as the rain, And as old as the world."
These lines highlight the power of memory and poetry to transcend time and space. The family's reading of poetry allows them to escape from the present moment and travel back in time to relive cherished memories. The speaker suggests that memory and poetry are more enduring than physical objects like stone or steel, and that they have the power to connect us to the past and the future.
The final stanza of the poem describes the family's realization that life is fleeting and that memories are all that remain. The speaker observes:
"Rain, midnight rain, nothing but the wild rain On this bleak hut, and solitude, and me Remembering again that I shall die And neither hear the rain nor give it thanks For washing me cleaner than I have been Since I was born into this solitude."
These lines are a poignant reminder of the impermanence of life and the inevitability of death. The family's reading of poetry and reminiscing about the past is a way of preserving memories and traditions, but it is also a way of coming to terms with the fact that everything is temporary. The speaker acknowledges that he will eventually die and that the memories he has created will be all that remain.
In conclusion, "Poetry During Wind and Rain" is a masterpiece that captures the essence of life's fleeting moments and the inevitability of change. Thomas Hardy's use of vivid imagery and powerful language creates a sense of intimacy and nostalgia that is both poignant and comforting. The poem is a reminder of the power of memory and poetry to connect us to the past and the future, and to provide comfort and solace during difficult times. It is a testament to Hardy's skill as a poet and his profound understanding of human nature.
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