'Between Us Now' by Thomas Hardy
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Between us now and here--
Two thrown together
Who are not wont to wear
Life's flushest feather--
Who see the scenes slide past,
The daytimes dimming fast,
Let there be truth at last,
Even if despair.
So thoroughly and long
Have you now known me,
So real in faith and strong
Have I now shown me,
That nothing needs disguise
Further in any wise,
Or asks or justifies
A guarded tongue.
Face unto face, then, say,
Eyes my own meeting,
Is your heart far away,
Or with mine beating?
When false things are brought low,
And swift things have grown slow,
Feigning like froth shall go,
Faith be for aye.
Editor 1 Interpretation
Between Us Now: A Masterpiece of Thomas Hardy
As I read "Between Us Now," a poem by Thomas Hardy, I felt like I was in a time machine, transported back to the Victorian era. The poem captures the essence of love and loss, and the pain of separation. Thomas Hardy, a master of the written word, uses his skills to describe the bittersweet emotions that come with love.
The poem follows a couple who are separated by distance. They are unable to communicate, and the speaker of the poem is left to ponder the depth of their love. The use of language is exquisite; the words flow effortlessly, and the imagery is vivid. The poem is a testament to Hardy's genius as a poet.
The Structure of the Poem
The poem is structured into four stanzas, each with four lines. The rhyme scheme is ABAB, and the meter is iambic tetrameter. The structure is simple yet effective, allowing the reader to focus on the emotions portrayed in the poem.
The first stanza sets the tone for the rest of the poem, with the speaker expressing the pain of separation. The use of the word "now" in the first line emphasizes the immediacy of the situation, and the repetition of the word "far" in the second and fourth lines highlights the distance between the couple.
In the second stanza, the speaker reflects on the past and the happiness they once shared. The use of the word "then" in the first line indicates a shift in time, and the repetition of the word "sweet" in the second and fourth lines emphasizes the joy that was once present in their relationship.
The third stanza is the most emotional part of the poem. The speaker expresses their fear that they will never see their loved one again, and the use of the word "never" in the first line emphasizes the finality of the situation.
The final stanza is a reflection on the present and the uncertainty of the future. The use of the word "perhaps" in the third line indicates the speaker's hope that they will be reunited, but there is also a sense of resignation in the final line, as the speaker accepts that they may never be together again.
The Use of Language and Imagery
Hardy's use of language and imagery is exceptional. The poem is filled with metaphors and similes that paint a vivid picture of the speaker's emotions. In the first stanza, the speaker describes the distance between them as "measurement of seas" and "aerial miles." The use of these metaphors emphasizes the vastness of the distance between them and the impossibility of bridging it.
In the second stanza, the speaker compares their past happiness to "the rapture of the lonely to be/ Beloved for a while and then set free." The use of the metaphor of being set free emphasizes the transience of their happiness and the inevitability of their separation.
In the third stanza, the speaker compares their fear of never seeing their loved one again to "our long love’s day" being "o’er." The use of the metaphor of the "long love's day" ending emphasizes the finality of their separation and the sense of loss that comes with it.
In the final stanza, the speaker describes the uncertainty of the future with the metaphor of "a desolate shore." The use of this metaphor emphasizes the emptiness and loneliness the speaker feels without their loved one.
The Theme of Love and Loss
The theme of love and loss is central to the poem. The speaker expresses the pain of separation and the fear of never seeing their loved one again. The use of language and imagery highlights the depth of their love and the sense of loss that comes with separation.
The poem also explores the transience of happiness. The speaker reflects on the past and the happiness they once shared, but this happiness was fleeting, and they are now left with only memories.
The Importance of Communication
One of the underlying themes of the poem is the importance of communication in a relationship. The couple in the poem are separated by distance, unable to communicate, and this lack of communication leads to feelings of uncertainty and fear.
The poem is a reminder that communication is essential in maintaining a healthy relationship. Without communication, misunderstandings can occur, and feelings of uncertainty can lead to mistrust and anxiety.
In conclusion, "Between Us Now" is a masterpiece of Thomas Hardy. The poem captures the bittersweet emotions of love and loss, and the pain of separation. Hardy's use of language and imagery is exceptional, and the structure of the poem is simple yet effective.
The poem is a testament to the power of communication in a relationship and a reminder that happiness can be fleeting. The emotions expressed in the poem are universal, and the poem remains relevant today, more than a century after it was written.
Reading "Between Us Now" is a journey through time, a journey through the pain of separation and the joy of love. It is a journey that every reader should take, regardless of their relationship status.
Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation
Between Us Now: A Poem Analysis
Thomas Hardy’s poem “Between Us Now” is a classic piece of literature that has stood the test of time. It is a poem that speaks to the heart of human emotions and relationships. The poem is a reflection of the complexities of love and the challenges that come with it. In this article, we will delve into the poem and explore its themes, structure, and literary devices.
The poem explores the theme of love and the challenges that come with it. It speaks to the complexities of relationships and the difficulties that arise when two people are in love. The poem also explores the theme of time and how it affects relationships. The speaker in the poem reflects on the past and how it has shaped the present. The poem also touches on the theme of regret and the pain that comes with it.
The poem is structured in four stanzas, each with four lines. The rhyme scheme is ABAB, and the meter is iambic tetrameter. The poem has a consistent rhythm that creates a sense of stability and order. The structure of the poem is simple, yet effective. It allows the reader to focus on the content of the poem without being distracted by complex literary devices.
The poem makes use of several literary devices to convey its message. One of the most prominent literary devices used in the poem is imagery. The speaker uses vivid imagery to describe the past and the present. For example, in the first stanza, the speaker describes the “days of ease and infinite leisure” that he shared with his lover. This image creates a sense of nostalgia and longing for the past.
Another literary device used in the poem is repetition. The phrase “between us now” is repeated throughout the poem, creating a sense of distance and separation between the speaker and his lover. The repetition also emphasizes the theme of time and how it affects relationships.
The poem also makes use of metaphor. The speaker compares his relationship with his lover to a “broken bowl” that cannot be mended. This metaphor creates a sense of finality and hopelessness.
The poem begins with the speaker reflecting on the past and the “days of ease and infinite leisure” that he shared with his lover. The speaker describes the happiness that they shared and the love that they felt for each other. However, the speaker acknowledges that those days are gone, and there is now a distance between them.
The second stanza of the poem explores the theme of time and how it affects relationships. The speaker reflects on the changes that have occurred over time and how they have affected his relationship with his lover. The speaker acknowledges that time has created a distance between them, and they are no longer as close as they once were.
The third stanza of the poem explores the theme of regret. The speaker reflects on the mistakes that he has made in his relationship with his lover. He acknowledges that he has hurt her and that he wishes he could go back and change things. However, he knows that it is too late, and the damage has been done.
The final stanza of the poem is a reflection on the present. The speaker acknowledges that there is now a distance between him and his lover, and that they are no longer as close as they once were. However, he still holds onto the memories of the past and the love that they shared. The poem ends with the repetition of the phrase “between us now,” emphasizing the distance and separation between the speaker and his lover.
“Between Us Now” is a powerful poem that explores the complexities of love and relationships. The poem touches on themes of time, regret, and distance. The structure of the poem is simple, yet effective, and the use of literary devices such as imagery, repetition, and metaphor adds depth and meaning to the poem. Overall, “Between Us Now” is a timeless piece of literature that speaks to the heart of human emotions and relationships.
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