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The Going Analysis

Author: Poetry of Thomas Hardy Type: Poetry Views: 194

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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 goneWhere I could not followWith wing of swallow

To gain one glimpse of you ever anon!Never to bid good-byeOr lip me the softest call,

Or utter a wish for a word, while I

Saw morning harden upon the wall,Unmoved, unknowingThat 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 danknessThe yawning blankness

Of the perspective sickens me!You were she who abodeBy 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 weatherWe'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 knowThat such swift fleeingNo soul foreseeing--

Not even I--would undo me so!


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

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A large fraction of Hardy’s poems embody a sense of loss and bereavement, however none of which provoke the emotion itself as thorough as do these three: ‘The Going’, ‘The Voice’ and ‘The Haunter’. It is within texts as such as these where we learn the extent which his wife’s death (Emma) caused him. It would seem that the three were planned out in three separate forms to read as though symmetrical. However each are told and read differently to portray and solidify certain aspects of the pain he was feeling, e.g. The Haunter is written in the perspective of Emma, whereas the other two are in that of Hardy’s. He wrote The Haunter in such as way that it would appear as though Emma has forgiven him for his unjust treatment of her as she is so determined to let him know she is there, watching and following:
“Yes, I companion him to places
Only dreamers know,”
Perhaps this was the only way he could truly deal with the aspect of loosing her and try to relieve the regret and guilt that seems to be channelled through his writings. The idea that she accompanies him where dreamers know both exaggerates the fact that she is in a place where neither he, nor any other can follow and that she would go to great lengths to be with him.
One theme that stably runs throughout the poems is that of either Emma’s presence or lack of, in both ways emitting the tone of loss that accompanies Emma where ever she is mentioned. The Going is perhaps the most ‘normal’ of the three, more so in the sense that it does not so frequently mention supernatural aspects as the others do. This poem does on the other hand hold the readers attention with other things, e.g. the strange versification that is noted, and the raw display of emotion that reveals itself within the indents of the verses:
“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!”
This technique could be used so that the reader could differentiate between the more important sections of the poem, or perhaps, seeing as they are the shorter of the lines in the poem, these could be the lines a little harder to write and so he must condense them in order to keep in one piece. Also they exaggerate the theme of loss: the two lines are separate from the other lines and are shorter, in a sense they too are missing something. It would seem as through there is an absolute void, no room, only for empty relentless pain. There is no solace for Hardy, no resolution to be found for these feelings that erode against him.
“Till in darkening dankness,
The yawning blankness”
This quote supports my theory of an absolute void and reflects how hardy is feeling almost transparent; desolate from all positive thoughts.
hope this helps people

| Posted on 2009-04-19 | by a guest

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