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Afterwards Analysis

Author: poem of Thomas Hardy Type: poem Views: 34

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When the Present has latched its postern behind my tremulous stay,
     And the May month flaps its glad green leaves like wings,
Delicate-filmed as new-spun silk, will the neighbours say,
     "He was a man who used to notice such things"?

If it be in the dusk when, like an eyelid's soundless blink,
     The dewfall-hawk comes crossing the shades to alight
Upon the wind-warped upland thorn, a gazer may think,
     "To him this must have been a familiar sight."

If I pass during some nocturnal blackness, mothy and warm,
     When the hedgehog travels furtively over the lawn,
One may say, "He strove that such innocent creatures should
        come to no harm,
     But he could do little for them; and now he is gone."

If, when hearing that I have been stilled at last, they stand at
        the door,
     Watching the full-starred heavens that winter sees,
Will this thought rise on those who will meet my face no more,
     "He was one who had an eye for such mysteries"?

And will any say when my bell of quittance is heard in the gloom,
     And a crossing breeze cuts a pause in its outrollings,
Till they rise again, as they were a new bell's boom,
     "He hears it not now, but used to notice such things?"


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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

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In each stanza of this poem Hardy wonders about what it would be like to die in that time of year. The first stanza reads \'And the May month flaps its glad green leaves like wings,\' - this represents autumn. The second- \'If I pass during some nocturnal blackness, mothy and warm,\' represents spring/summer- as it is \'mothy and warm\', the third reads \'Watching the full-starred heavens that winter sees,\' which is clearly winter. The final stanza is almost a summary of the previos stanzas, a \'conclusion\' of his thoughts if you like. Hardy was always very fond of nature,(animals, scenery) as is shown in many of his other poetry. He always spoke of the beauty of nature, and always used imagery. This poem is saying that although he never did anything to prevent the harm of those things- \'He strove that such innocent creatures should
come to no harm,
But he could do little for them; and now he is gone.\' - and he is writing almost to show his thoughts of wonder, wheather people will notice what he was truly about, and whether they will speak of him once he has passed.

| Posted on 2012-01-11 | by a guest

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Hardy was not an utter idiot and to remember him as such is an insult to him memory. He was an amazing writer being able to show his love of nature and his fear of his death being unnoticed in a way only he could. His fear of being forgotten is shown well by his use of the word \'postern\' which means a back door or private entrance, his death would go by without anyone caring. This poem is not actually that depressing given its sombre theme, in fact it is quite wistful as he wants to be remembered.

| Posted on 2011-04-10 | by a guest

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Thomas Hardy was a complete and utter idiot, he was a bad writer so he gave up and wrote bad, depressing poems, one example of this is Afterwards. What a load of absolute waffel, It sounds like the scribblings of a mental patient who\'s been locked in a padded cell for the last 35 years.

| Posted on 2011-03-14 | by a guest

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This poem could refer to Hardy's contemplation of what his death will be like, whether it will have an impact on people, and indeed whether he has done anything to be remembered in his life. The use of the word 'postern' in the first stanza refers to a back door or private exit, which implies that his death will go unnoticed (as back doors aren't generally conventional ways of leaving, unless you don't want to be noticed) Hardy's rich description of nature (the use of alliteration, metaphors and similes emphasise the imagery) emphasise his love for nature, and contrasts his seemingly bleak outlook for his life's achievements.

| Posted on 2010-06-06 | by a guest

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I think this poem instead is about Hardy's acceptance of death, contrary to the message in other poems. Although Hardy's hold on this world is "tremulous", meaning brittle, he admits that it wold be somewhat cathartic to be "stilled at last" and to be as one of the stars in the "full-starred heavens". With the elegiac ABAB rhyme scheme, the poem has some confidence, meaning that Hardy acknowledges with certainty that many have died before him and will do so after. One may believe also that the past tense comments at the end of each stanza convey Hardy's wish to be revered after his death.

| Posted on 2010-06-02 | by a guest

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Well it actually is a very complicated poem which needs detailed analysis. But hey I'm no Hardy or shakespeare. Analysis of this is a waste of time and death soonly follows.The poem grief and sorrow which is directly related to deat .It talks about how gloomy the world will be once this great poet dies.

| Posted on 2007-11-29 | by a guest

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