'Weathers' by Thomas Hardy

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This is the weather the cuckoo likes,
And so do I;
When showers betumble the chestnut spikes,
And nestlings fly;
And the little brown nightingale bills his best,
And they sit outside at 'The Traveller's Rest,'
And maids come forth sprig-muslin drest,
And citizens dream of the south and west,
And so do I.

This is the weather the shepherd shuns,
And so do I;
When beeches drip in browns and duns,
And thresh and ply;
And hill-hid tides throb, throe on throe,
And meadow rivulets overflow,
And drops on gate bars hang in a row,
And rooks in families homeward go,
And so do I.

Editor 1 Interpretation

Weathers by Thomas Hardy: A Critical Interpretation

Are you a fan of poetry that captures the essence of nature's moods and emotions? Look no further than Thomas Hardy's "Weathers." This classic poem is a masterful depiction of the changing seasons and their impact on the human psyche. In this 4000 word literary criticism and interpretation, I will explore the many layers of meaning in "Weathers" and why it remains a beloved piece of literature today.

Poetic Structure and Form

Let's begin by examining the structure and form of "Weathers." This poem consists of four stanzas, each with four lines. The rhyme scheme is ABAB, and the meter is mostly iambic tetrameter, with occasional variations. This creates a musical, sing-song quality to the poem that mirrors the rhythms of nature itself.

But there's more to the structure of "Weathers" than just its rhyme and meter. The poem is carefully crafted to evoke the changing seasons, both in its language and its imagery. Each stanza represents a different season, and the language used in each stanza reflects the unique qualities of that season. For example, the first stanza uses words like "drizzling," "dank," and "dull" to describe the gray, damp weather of autumn. The second stanza, which represents winter, uses words like "keen," "cold," and "frosty" to convey the harshness of the season.

This attention to detail in the structure and form of "Weathers" is a testament to Hardy's skill as a poet. He uses the very structure of the poem to reinforce its themes and ideas, creating a cohesive work of art that resonates with readers to this day.

Themes and Ideas

So what are the themes and ideas that "Weathers" explores? At its core, this poem is about the relationship between nature and humanity. Each stanza represents a different season, and each season is personified as having its own distinct personality and emotions. Autumn is melancholy and reflective, winter is harsh and unforgiving, spring is joyful and exuberant, and summer is lazy and carefree.

But it's not just the seasons that have personalities in this poem. The human narrator also interacts with the weather in a very personal way. In the first stanza, the narrator is "Sad" and "sunk" in the autumn drizzle. In the second stanza, he is "chilled" and "numbed" by the winter cold. In the third stanza, he is "glad" and "hopeful" at the first signs of spring. And in the final stanza, he is "lazy" and "luxuriating" in the warmth of summer.

This interplay between nature and humanity is a central theme of "Weathers." Hardy suggests that our moods and emotions are intimately tied to the natural world around us. We are not separate from nature, but rather a part of it. Our emotions are shaped by the weather, just as the weather is shaped by the changing seasons.

Another theme that runs throughout "Weathers" is the passage of time. The changing seasons are a metaphor for the cycles of life and death, growth and decay. The poem begins with the melancholy of autumn, a season that is often associated with aging and decline. It then moves through the harshness of winter, the renewal of spring, and the laziness of summer. This progression mirrors the stages of human life, from birth to death.

But even as "Weathers" acknowledges the inevitability of change and decay, it also celebrates the beauty and joy of life. Each season brings its own unique pleasures, whether it's the crisp air of autumn, the snowflakes of winter, the flowers of spring, or the sunshine of summer. Hardy reminds us that even in the midst of hardship and sorrow, there is always something to be grateful for.

Language and Imagery

One of the most striking things about "Weathers" is its use of language and imagery. Hardy's descriptions of the weather are vivid and evocative, bringing the natural world to life on the page. In the first stanza, we can almost feel the dampness of the autumn drizzle and smell the musty scent of fallen leaves. In the second stanza, we shiver at the cold wind and marvel at the beauty of snowflakes. In the third stanza, we are awed by the sight of new growth and the sound of birdsong. And in the final stanza, we bask in the warmth of the sun and feel the softness of grass beneath our feet.

But it's not just the weather that is vividly described in "Weathers." Hardy also uses imagery to capture the human emotions that are intertwined with the changing seasons. In the first stanza, the narrator is "sad" and "sunk," a metaphorical representation of the melancholy that often accompanies autumn. In the second stanza, the narrator is "chilled" and "numbed," a physical manifestation of the harshness of winter. In the third stanza, the narrator is "glad" and "hopeful," a reflection of the renewal and rebirth that come with spring. And in the final stanza, the narrator is "lazy" and "luxuriating," a symbol of the carefree joy of summer.

Through his use of language and imagery, Hardy creates a rich and nuanced portrait of the natural world and our relationship to it. He reminds us that the weather is not just something we experience from a distance, but something that shapes our very being.


In conclusion, "Weathers" is a remarkable poem that continues to captivate readers over a century after it was first published. Its careful structure and form, its exploration of the relationship between nature and humanity, its themes of time and change, and its vivid language and imagery all contribute to its enduring appeal. Hardy's skill as a poet is on full display here, and his ability to capture the moods and emotions of the changing seasons is nothing short of masterful. So if you're looking for a poem that will transport you to another world and remind you of the beauty and complexity of nature, look no further than "Weathers."

Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation

Weathers by Thomas Hardy: A Poetic Masterpiece

Thomas Hardy, one of the most celebrated poets of the Victorian era, is known for his poignant and evocative poetry that captures the essence of human emotions and experiences. His poem "Weathers" is a classic example of his mastery of language and imagery, as he explores the theme of change and the passage of time through the lens of nature.

The poem is structured in four stanzas, each describing a different season and the corresponding weather. The first stanza describes the "Worn weasel" of winter, with its "frosty rime" and "dull days". The second stanza depicts the "Wild wind" of spring, with its "showery skies" and "budding boughs". The third stanza portrays the "Warm sun" of summer, with its "golden hours" and "scented blooms". The final stanza captures the "Wistful weather" of autumn, with its "misty eves" and "fading leaves".

The poem is rich in sensory imagery, with each stanza evoking a distinct mood and atmosphere. In the first stanza, the use of alliteration and onomatopoeia creates a sense of stillness and desolation, as the "weasel" and "wold" are "worn" and "wasted". The second stanza, on the other hand, is full of movement and energy, with the "wild wind" and "budding boughs" suggesting the vitality and renewal of spring. The third stanza is suffused with warmth and color, as the "warm sun" and "scented blooms" evoke the pleasures of summer. The final stanza, by contrast, is tinged with melancholy and nostalgia, as the "fading leaves" and "misty eves" suggest the passing of time and the approach of winter.

One of the most striking features of the poem is its use of personification, as Hardy imbues the weather with human qualities and emotions. In the first stanza, the "weasel" is described as "worn", suggesting a sense of fatigue and resignation. In the second stanza, the "wild wind" is personified as a "lover", with its "kisses" and "caresses" suggesting a sense of passion and intensity. In the third stanza, the "warm sun" is described as "glad", suggesting a sense of joy and contentment. In the final stanza, the "wistful weather" is personified as a "friend", with its "sighs" and "whispers" suggesting a sense of intimacy and familiarity.

The poem also contains a subtle sense of irony and ambiguity, as the weather is both a symbol of change and a constant presence in our lives. On the one hand, the poem suggests that the weather is a transient and ephemeral phenomenon, subject to the whims of nature and the passage of time. On the other hand, the poem suggests that the weather is a constant and enduring presence, shaping our experiences and memories in profound ways. The final stanza, with its reference to the "old days" and the "old ways", suggests that the weather is a link to the past, a reminder of the people and places that have shaped our lives.

Overall, "Weathers" is a masterful poem that captures the beauty and complexity of nature, as well as the human emotions and experiences that are intertwined with it. Through its rich imagery, personification, and subtle irony, the poem invites us to reflect on the passage of time and the changing seasons of our lives. As we read the poem, we are reminded of the power of language and poetry to capture the essence of our world and our humanity, and to connect us to the past, present, and future.

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