'The Going' by Thomas Hardy
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Why did you give no hint that night
That quickly after the morrow's dawn,
And calmly, as if indifferent quite,
You would close your term here, up and be gone
Where I could not follow
With wing of swallow
To gain one glimpse of you ever anon!
Never to bid good-bye
Or lip me the softest call,
Or utter a wish for a word, while I
Saw morning harden upon the wall,
That your great going
Had place that moment, and altered all.
Why do you make me leave the house
And think for a breath it is you I see
At the end of the alley of bending boughs
Where so often at dusk you used to be;
Till in darkening dankness
The yawning blankness
Of the perspective sickens me!
You were she who abode
By those red-veined rocks far West,
You were the swan-necked one who rode
Along the beetling Beeny Crest,
And, reining nigh me,
Would muse and eye me,
While Life unrolled us its very best.
Why, then, latterly did we not speak,
Did we not think of those days long dead,
And ere your vanishing strive to seek
That time's renewal? We might have said,
"In this bright spring weather
We'll visit together
Those places that once we visited."
Well, well! All's past amend,
Unchangeable. It must go.
I seem but a dead man held on end
To sink down soon. . . . O you could not know
That such swift fleeing
No soul foreseeing--
Not even I--would undo me so!
Editor 1 Interpretation
The Going by Thomas Hardy: A Poem of Loss and Longing
The Going, a poem written by Thomas Hardy, is a poignant exploration of the themes of loss, love, and longing. The poem, which was first published in 1912, is a reflection of Hardy's own experience of grief after the death of his wife Emma. In this literary criticism and interpretation, we will delve into the meaning of the poem, explore its symbolism and imagery, and analyze its language and structure.
The Poem's Meaning and Themes
The Going is a poem that deals with the theme of loss and the pain of separation. The poem is written from the perspective of a speaker who is bidding farewell to a loved one who has passed away. The speaker's words are filled with a sense of longing and a desire to be reunited with their beloved. The poem can be seen as a meditation on the nature of love, loss, and the inevitability of death.
The poem's central theme is the idea of separation, and the pain that comes with it. The speaker is mourning the loss of someone they loved deeply, and their words are filled with a sense of sorrow and longing. The poem can be seen as a reflection of the universal human experience of grief and loss. Hardy's own experience of loss and grief is evident in the poem, as he was writing it after the death of his wife Emma.
Symbolism and Imagery
The poem makes use of a number of powerful symbols and images to convey its message. The most prominent of these is the metaphor of the "going" itself. The speaker is bidding farewell to someone who has passed away, and the act of departing is seen as a journey into the unknown. The use of this metaphor is particularly effective in conveying the sense of loss and separation that the speaker is experiencing.
Another important symbol in the poem is the image of the "parting ghost." This image is used to convey the idea of the deceased person's spirit departing from the world of the living. The use of the word "ghost" adds a sense of mystery and otherworldliness to the poem, and reinforces the idea of the speaker's beloved being gone forever.
The landscape imagery in the poem is also noteworthy. The speaker describes the "windy hill" and the "misty trees" as they bid farewell to their loved one. These images serve to create a sense of atmosphere and mood, and convey the speaker's emotional state.
Language and Structure
The language and structure of the poem are both important in conveying its message. The poem is written in free verse, which allows Hardy to experiment with the form and structure of the poem. The use of enjambment and caesurae create a sense of rhythm and flow, which adds to the emotional impact of the poem.
The language of the poem is simple and direct, which adds to its power. The use of repetition, particularly the repetition of the word "going," reinforces the central theme of the poem. The use of first-person point of view also adds to the poem's emotional impact, as the reader is able to experience the speaker's sense of loss and longing firsthand.
The Going is a powerful poem that deals with the universal themes of love, loss, and separation. Hardy's use of symbolism, imagery, language, and structure all work together to create a poem that is emotionally impactful and thought-provoking. The poem is a testament to the power of poetry to capture the complexities of the human experience, and to offer solace in times of grief and loss.
Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation
The Going: A Heartbreaking Poem by Thomas Hardy
Thomas Hardy, one of the most celebrated poets of the Victorian era, is known for his poignant and melancholic works. His poem, The Going, is a heart-wrenching piece that explores the themes of loss, grief, and the inevitability of death. Written in 1912, the poem is a tribute to Hardy's wife, Emma, who passed away in 1912 after a long illness. In this analysis, we will delve into the poem's structure, language, and themes to understand its significance and impact.
The Going is a four-stanza poem, each consisting of four lines. The poem follows a simple ABAB rhyme scheme, with the first and third lines rhyming, and the second and fourth lines rhyming. The poem's structure is simple, yet effective, as it allows the reader to focus on the poem's content and emotions. The poem's brevity and simplicity also add to its impact, as it conveys the sense of loss and grief in a concise and powerful manner.
The language used in The Going is simple and direct, yet it is also rich in imagery and symbolism. The poem's opening line, "Why did you give no hint that night," sets the tone for the rest of the poem. The use of the word "hint" suggests that the speaker was unaware of the impending loss, and the word "night" adds to the sense of darkness and despair.
The second stanza is particularly poignant, with the line "We did not see her go." This line captures the sense of helplessness and regret that often accompanies loss. The use of the word "her" instead of "you" adds a personal touch to the poem, making it more relatable and emotional.
The third stanza is perhaps the most powerful, with the line "And now, you've gone away." The use of the word "now" suggests that the loss is recent, and the word "gone" conveys the finality of death. The line "And left us lonely here" adds to the sense of isolation and grief.
The final stanza is a reflection on the speaker's own mortality, with the line "And how you died, we do not know." This line suggests that death is a mystery, and that we can never truly understand it. The use of the word "we" instead of "I" suggests that the speaker is not alone in their grief, and that death is a universal experience.
The Going explores several themes, including loss, grief, and the inevitability of death. The poem is a tribute to Hardy's wife, Emma, and it captures the sense of loss and grief that he must have felt after her passing. The poem's language and imagery convey the sense of helplessness and regret that often accompanies loss, and it reminds us of the fragility of life.
The poem also explores the theme of the inevitability of death. The line "And how you died, we do not know" suggests that death is a mystery, and that we can never truly understand it. The poem reminds us that death is a natural part of life, and that we must all face it eventually.
In conclusion, The Going is a powerful and poignant poem that explores the themes of loss, grief, and the inevitability of death. Hardy's use of simple language and imagery conveys the sense of helplessness and regret that often accompanies loss, and it reminds us of the fragility of life. The poem is a tribute to Hardy's wife, Emma, and it captures the sense of loss and grief that he must have felt after her passing. The Going is a timeless work of poetry that continues to resonate with readers today, and it is a testament to Hardy's skill as a poet.
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