'She Hears The Storm' by Thomas Hardy
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There was a time in former years--
While my roof-tree was his--
When I should have been distressed by fears
At such a night as this!
I should have murmured anxiously,
'The prickling rain strikes cold;
His road is bare of hedge or tree,
And he is getting old.'
But now the fitful chimney-roar,
The drone of Thorncombe trees,
The Froom in flood upon the moor,
The mud of Mellstock Leaze,
The candle slanting sooty-wick'd,
The thuds upon the thatch,
The eaves drops on the window flicked,
The clanking garden-hatch,
And what they mean to wayfarers,
I scarcely heed or mind;
He has won that storm-tight roof of hers
Which Earth grants all her kind.
Editor 1 Interpretation
She Hears The Storm by Thomas Hardy: A Masterpiece of Nature Poetry
As the wind whistles and the rain pours down, we can hear the sound of Thomas Hardy’s poetry echoing through the ages. His poem “She Hears The Storm” is a beautiful ode to the power of nature and its ability to evoke intense emotions within us. In this detailed literary criticism and interpretation, we shall explore the various themes, symbols, and literary techniques that make this poem a true masterpiece of nature poetry.
The Poem: An Overview
“She Hears The Storm” is a poem that captures the moment when a woman, sitting alone in her room, hears the sound of a fierce storm raging outside. As she listens to the storm, she is reminded of a lost love and the pain of their separation. The poem is divided into three stanzas, each with its own distinct tone and mood.
Theme: Nature and Emotion
At its core, “She Hears The Storm” is a poem about the power of nature to evoke intense emotions within us. The storm is not just a physical phenomenon; it is also a metaphor for the tumultuous feelings that the woman is experiencing. The imagery of the storm serves to intensify the emotions that the woman is feeling, as she is reminded of her lost love and the pain of their separation.
Stanza 1: The Storm Approaches
The first stanza sets the scene for the poem, as we see the wind and rain beginning to increase in intensity. The opening line, “Stand still, O Beautiful End, for a moment, and say your last words” immediately captures our attention, as we wonder what “Beautiful End” refers to. The storm is personified as a living, breathing entity, and the woman listens to it with a mixture of fear and awe.
Stanza 2: Memories and Pain
The second stanza is the emotional heart of the poem, as the woman remembers her lost love and the pain of their separation. The storm serves as a catalyst for her emotions, intensifying the memories and feelings that she has been suppressing. The line “And the kiss that ended everything” is particularly poignant, as it captures the moment of separation and the finality of the kiss.
Stanza 3: The Storm Passes
The final stanza sees the storm beginning to recede, as the wind and rain slowly die down. The woman is left with a sense of emptiness and longing, as she realizes that her lost love is gone forever. The final line, “The world will turn and we will forget” is a bittersweet reminder that time moves on, and that life goes on even after great loss.
Symbolism: The Storm
The storm is the most prominent symbol in the poem, representing both the power of nature and the tumultuous emotions that the woman is experiencing. The storm is personified as a living, breathing entity, and its intensity serves to intensify the emotions that the woman is feeling. The storm also serves as a metaphor for the turbulent nature of love and relationships, and the pain of separation.
Literary Techniques: Imagery and Personification
Hardy uses vivid imagery and personification to bring the storm to life, and to intensify the emotions that the woman is experiencing. The storm is described in visceral terms, with lines such as “The trees caught in the frenzy of the storm” and “The rain on the roof drummed a lullaby”. The storm is also personified as a living, breathing entity, with lines such as “And the wind rose, and the rain poured down in torrents”.
Literary Techniques: Structure and Tone
The structure and tone of the poem are key to its emotional impact. The poem is divided into three stanzas, each with its own distinct tone and mood. The first stanza is ominous and foreboding, setting the scene for the storm that is about to come. The second stanza is the emotional heart of the poem, as the woman remembers her lost love and the pain of their separation. The third stanza sees the storm beginning to recede, leaving the woman with a sense of emptiness and loss.
“She Hears The Storm” is a masterpiece of nature poetry, capturing the raw power of nature and its ability to evoke intense emotions within us. Thomas Hardy’s vivid imagery and personification bring the storm to life, intensifying the emotions that the woman is feeling. The poem’s structure and tone are key to its emotional impact, as we are taken on a journey through the storm and the woman’s memories and feelings. Overall, “She Hears The Storm” is a powerful and poignant poem that continues to resonate with readers today.
Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation
She Hears The Storm: A Masterpiece of Thomas Hardy
Thomas Hardy, the renowned English novelist and poet, is known for his exceptional ability to capture the essence of human emotions and nature in his works. One of his most celebrated poems, She Hears The Storm, is a perfect example of his mastery in depicting the power of nature and its impact on human life.
The poem is a narrative of a woman who is alone in her house, listening to the raging storm outside. The first stanza sets the tone for the rest of the poem, as the woman is described as "listening alone" to the "wind-wielding waves" and the "sea-blown sand." The use of alliteration and personification in these lines creates a vivid image of the storm's intensity and the woman's isolation.
The second stanza continues to describe the storm's ferocity, with the woman hearing the "thunderous clash" of the waves and the "whistling wind" that "shrieks and shrieks again." The repetition of the word "shrieks" emphasizes the woman's fear and the storm's relentless power.
In the third stanza, the woman's thoughts turn to her absent lover, who is away at sea. She imagines him "tossed on high" by the same storm that she is hearing, and wonders if he is thinking of her. This stanza adds a layer of emotional depth to the poem, as the woman's fear for her lover's safety is juxtaposed with her own fear of the storm.
The fourth stanza brings a shift in tone, as the woman begins to find comfort in the storm's power. She imagines the storm as a "mighty lover" who is "embracing" the earth, and feels a sense of connection to it. The use of metaphor in this stanza is particularly effective, as it creates a sense of intimacy between the woman and the storm.
The final stanza brings the poem to a close, as the storm begins to subside and the woman is left with a sense of calm. She realizes that the storm has passed, and that her lover is safe. The final line, "And the wind ceased, and all was still," is a powerful conclusion to the poem, as it emphasizes the contrast between the storm's chaos and the peace that follows.
Overall, She Hears The Storm is a masterpiece of Thomas Hardy's poetic skill. The poem's use of vivid imagery, personification, and metaphor creates a powerful depiction of the storm's intensity and the woman's emotional journey. The poem's themes of isolation, fear, and connection to nature are timeless and universal, making it a classic work of literature that continues to resonate with readers today.
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