POESY

po·e·sy n. pl. po·e·sies 1. Poetical works; poetry. 2. The art or practice of composing poems. 3. The inspiration involved in composing poetry. [Middle English poesie, from Old French, from Latin posis, from Greek poisis, from poiein, to create; see kwei-2 in Indo-European roots.]

My Photo
Name:
Location: Canada

Saturday, June 02, 2012

June 2 - Thomas Hardy


  
Thomas Hardy (June 2, 1840 – January 11, 1928)

English poet and novelist Hardy's first fame and success came with his popular novels. Some  of his better-known works include Far from the Madding Crowd (1874), The Return of the Native (1878), The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886), Tess of the D'Urbervilles (1891), and Jude the Obscure (1895). Along with receiving literary praise, his work was criticized  as too shocking for  Victorian sensibilities, especially Tess... [about a fallen woman] and Jude... [called obscene by many]. The negative outcry against Jude prompted Hardy to stop writing novels and return to his first love, poetry. Most of his poetry was published after he was 55. He wrote more than 800 poems, many while in in his eighties.

Having achieved fame in his lifetime as great as Dickens', Thomas Hardy died on January 11, 1928, at the age of 87. His ashes are entombed in Poets' Corner at Westminster Abbey. He is considered one of the most influential English poets of the 20th century.





The Darkling Thrush 
by Thomas Hardy
       
I leant upon a coppice gate,
When Frost was spectre-gray,
And Winter's dregs made desolate
The weakening eye of day.
The tangled bine-stems scored the sky
Like strings of broken lyres,
And all mankind that haunted nigh
Had sought their household fires.

The land's sharp features seemed to me
The Century's corpse outleant,
Its crypt the cloudy canopy,
The wind its death-lament.
The ancient pulse of germ and birth
Was shrunken hard and dry,
And every spirit upon earth
Seemed fervorless as I.

At once a voice arose among
The bleak twigs overhead,
In a full-hearted evensong
Of joy illimited.
An aged thrush, frail, gaunt and small,
In blast-beruffled plume,
Had chosen thus to fling his soul
Upon the growing gloom.

So little cause for carolings
Of such ecstatic sound
Was written on terrestrial things
Afar or nigh around,
That I could think there trembled through
His happy good-night air
Some blessed Hope, whereof he knew,
And I was unaware.


             

An August Midnight 
by Thomas Hardy
                                                                         

A shaded lamp and a waving blind,
And the beat of a clock from a distant floor:
On this scene enter--winged, horned, and spined -
A longlegs, a moth, and a dumbledore;
While 'mid my page there idly stands
A sleepy fly, that rubs its hands . . .

II

Thus meet we five, in this still place,
At this point of time, at this point in space.
- My guests parade my new-penned ink,
Or bang at the lamp-glass, whirl, and sink.
"God's humblest, they!" I muse. Yet why?
They know Earth-secrets that know not I.




A Commonplace Day 
by Thomas Hardy
                                           
The day is turning ghost,
And scuttles from the kalendar in fits and
furtively,
To join the anonymous host
Of those that throng oblivion; ceding his place,
maybe,
To one of like degree.

I part the fire-gnawed logs,
Rake forth the embers, spoil the busy flames, and
lay the ends
Upon the shining dogs;
Further and further from the nooks the twilight's
stride extends,
And beamless black impends.

Nothing of tiniest worth
Have I wrought, pondered, planned; no one thing
asking blame or
praise,
Since the pale corpse-like birth
Of this diurnal unit, bearing blanks in all its
rays -
Dullest of dull-hued Days!

Wanly upon the panes
The rain slides as have slid since morn my
colourless thoughts; and
yet
Here, while Day's presence wanes,
and over him the sepulchre-lid is slowly lowered
and set,
He wakens my regret.

Regret--though nothing dear
That I wot of, was toward in the wide world at his
prime,
Or bloomed elsewhere than here,
To die with his decease, and leave a memory sweet,
sublime,
Or mark him out in Time . . .

--Yet, maybe, in some soul,
In some spot undiscerned on sea or land, some
impulse rose,
Or some intent upstole
Of that enkindling ardency from whose maturer
glows
The world's amendment flows;

But which, benumbed at birth
By momentary chance or wile, has missed its hope
to be
Embodied on the earth;
And undervoicings of this loss to man's futurity
May wake regret in me.


       
           
We Are Getting to the End 
by Thomas Hardy
             
We are getting to the end of visioning
The impossible within this universe,
Such as that better whiles may follow worse,
And that our race may mend by reasoning.

We know that even as larks in cages sing
Unthoughtful of deliverance from the curse
That holds them lifelong in a latticed hearse,
We ply spasmodically our pleasuring.

And that when nations set them to lay waste
Thy neighbours' heritage by foot and horse,
And hack their pleasant plains in festering seams,
They may again, - not warily, or from taste,
But tickled mad by some demonic force. -
Yes. We are getting to the end of dreams!


                             

Weathers 
by Thomas Hardy
          
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.


              
--Cat