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In Tenebris Analysis



Author: poem of Thomas Hardy Type: poem Views: 12

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Wintertime nighs;

But my bereavement-pain

It cannot bring again:

Twice no one dies.



Flower-petals flee;

But since it once hath been,

No more that severing scene

Can harrow me.



Birds faint in dread:

I shall not lose old strength

In the lone frost's black length:

Strength long since fled!



Leaves freeze to dun;

But friends cannot turn cold

This season as of old

For him with none.



Tempests may scath;

But love cannot make smart

Again this year his heart

Who no heart hath.



Black is night's cope;

But death will not appal

One, who past doubtings all,

Waits in unhope.






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

.: :.

This analysis proposes that through In Tenebris I Hardy attempts to imagine what it is to be dead, or completely cut off from life- and what it would mean to still perceive the world in this detached state.
There is a passive verb in almost every verse (\"nighs\", \"bring\", \"flee\", \"been\", \"harrow\") to give a sense of time passing, but emptily without much active meaning as can be seen for example by the verb \"nighs\" which contains now enthusiasm but the sparse truth the time goes on. This imagery flares up in the penultimate stanza with \"scath\" and \"smart\", but then ultimately retreats back into \"appall\" and \"waits\" to demonstrate that this unspeakable, waiting force of nature or unnature can never be fully awakened to interaction with the living world, despite it\'s most vibrant efforts.
Structurally, the predominance of monosyllables and squat quatrain stanzas that occupy In Tenebris I concoct a poem with a shriveled and withered undertone. The supplement of a Latin quote before the poem itself contributes to the overall opaqueness of the work and it\'s shrouded, almost ominous meaning. The meter chosen by Hardy, steady iambic pentameter split into two verses each time gives the poem a kind of once natural beat that has now been broken or severed in some way.
This helps establish a tone of both resignation and resentment at some past crime, and before that some past enjoyment of the life that is mentioned but almost tortured in the poem e.g. \"birds faint in dread\". This resonates with the final word especially of \"unhope\", communicating succinctly the overall emotion of the poem that is not exactly of identifiable sadness, but more like of happiness and vitality- being out of the light, in shadow.
In terms of the relationship between people and God, mentioned in another analysis, there is certainly a religious outreaching and thread throughout this poem- but it would be wrong to see it as the overbearing motive of Hardy\'s in writing in Tenebris. There is little direct orthodox religious mention in the poem, and it becomes increasingly tenuous to assume it must have been a prominent motivator of Hardy\'s just because it had become poetic and cultural fashion at the time. Moreover, the idea of a relationship becomes redundant when the theme of loneliness and singularity is recognised as present throughout the poem \"But friends cannot turn cold... with him with none\", \"who no heart hath\". If anything Hardy is cementing the idea of a lack of personal relationship with God- though this is questionable itself as he was in fact a Spinocist and not a Atheist as claimed above.
It is more likely that Hardy has retreated into a kind shadow- as the Latin translation suggest- and is merged with some sort of divine presence, or is indeed constructing a dramatic monologue of a divine presence. It is proposed here that this presence is probably Time, as can be seen from his obsession with the concept, mostly in personification, in poems such as The Darkling Thrush, The Convergence of the Twain, and The Going.

| Posted on 2013-02-26 | by a guest


.: :.

This analysis proposes that through In Tenebris I Hardy attempts to imagine what it is to be dead, or completely cut off from life- and what it would mean to still perceive the world in this detached state.
There is a passive verb in almost every verse (\"nighs\", \"bring\", \"flee\", \"been\", \"harrow\") to give a sense of time passing, but emptily without much active meaning as can be seen for example by the verb \"nighs\" which contains now enthusiasm but the sparse truth the time goes on. This imagery flares up in the penultimate stanza with \"scath\" and \"smart\", but then ultimately retreats back into \"appall\" and \"waits\" to demonstrate that this unspeakable, waiting force of nature or unnature can never be fully awakened to interaction with the living world, despite it\'s most vibrant efforts.
Structurally, the predominance of monosyllables and squat quatrain stanzas that occupy In Tenebris I concoct a poem with a shriveled and withered undertone. The supplement of a Latin quote before the poem itself contributes to the overall opaqueness of the work and it\'s shrouded, almost ominous meaning. The meter chosen by Hardy, steady iambic pentameter split into two verses each time gives the poem a kind of once natural beat that has now been broken or severed in some way.
This helps establish a tone of both resignation and resentment at some past crime, and before that some past enjoyment of the life that is mentioned but almost tortured in the poem e.g. \"birds faint in dread\". This resonates with the final word especially of \"unhope\", communicating succinctly the overall emotion of the poem that is not exactly of identifiable sadness, but more like of happiness and vitality- being out of the light, in shadow.
In terms of the relationship between people and God, mentioned in another analysis, there is certainly a religious outreaching and thread throughout this poem- but it would be wrong to see it as the overbearing motive of Hardy\'s in writing in Tenebris. There is little direct orthodox religious mention in the poem, and it becomes increasingly tenuous to assume it must have been a prominent motivator of Hardy\'s just because it had become poetic and cultural fashion at the time. Moreover, the idea of a relationship becomes redundant when the theme of loneliness and singularity is recognised as present throughout the poem \"But friends cannot turn cold... with him with none\", \"who no heart hath\". If anything Hardy is cementing the idea of a lack of personal relationship with God- though this is questionable itself as he was in fact a Spinocist and not a Atheist as claimed above.
It is more likely that Hardy has retreated into a kind shadow- as the Latin translation suggest- and is merged with some sort of divine presence, or is indeed constructing a dramatic monologue of a divine presence. It is proposed here that this presence is probably Time, as can be seen from his obsession with the concept, mostly in personification, in poems such as The Darkling Thrush, The Convergence of the Twain, and The Going.

| Posted on 2013-02-26 | by a guest


.: :.

This analysis proposes that through In Tenebris I Hardy attempts to imagine what it is to be dead, or completely cut off from life- and what it would mean to still perceive the world in this detached state.
There is a passive verb in almost every verse (\"nighs\", \"bring\", \"flee\", \"been\", \"harrow\") to give a sense of time passing, but emptily without much active meaning as can be seen for example by the verb \"nighs\" which contains now enthusiasm but the sparse truth the time goes on. This imagery flares up in the penultimate stanza with \"scath\" and \"smart\", but then ultimately retreats back into \"appall\" and \"waits\" to demonstrate that this unspeakable, waiting force of nature or unnature can never be fully awakened to interaction with the living world, despite it\'s most vibrant efforts.
Structurally, the predominance of monosyllables and squat quatrain stanzas that occupy In Tenebris I concoct a poem with a shriveled and withered undertone. The supplement of a Latin quote before the poem itself contributes to the overall opaqueness of the work and it\'s shrouded, almost ominous meaning. The meter chosen by Hardy, steady iambic pentameter split into two verses each time gives the poem a kind of once natural beat that has now been broken or severed in some way.
This helps establish a tone of both resignation and resentment at some past crime, and before that some past enjoyment of the life that is mentioned but almost tortured in the poem e.g. \"birds faint in dread\". This resonates with the final word especially of \"unhope\", communicating succinctly the overall emotion of the poem that is not exactly of identifiable sadness, but more like of happiness and vitality- being out of the light, in shadow.
In terms of the relationship between people and God, mentioned in another analysis, there is certainly a religious outreaching and thread throughout this poem- but it would be wrong to see it as the overbearing motive of Hardy\'s in writing in Tenebris. There is little direct orthodox religious mention in the poem, and it becomes increasingly tenuous to assume it must have been a prominent motivator of Hardy\'s just because it had become poetic and cultural fashion at the time. Moreover, the idea of a relationship becomes redundant when the theme of loneliness and singularity is recognised as present throughout the poem \"But friends cannot turn cold... with him with none\", \"who no heart hath\". If anything Hardy is cementing the idea of a lack of personal relationship with God- though this is questionable itself as he was in fact a Spinocist and not a Atheist as claimed above.
It is more likely that Hardy has retreated into a kind shadow- as the Latin translation suggest- and is merged with some sort of divine presence, or is indeed constructing a dramatic monologue of a divine presence. It is proposed here that this presence is probably Time, as can be seen from his obsession with the concept, mostly in personification, in poems such as The Darkling Thrush, The Convergence of the Twain, and The Going.

| Posted on 2013-02-26 | by a guest


.: :.

This analysis proposes that through In Tenebris I Hardy attempts to imagine what it is to be dead, or completely cut off from life- and what it would mean to still perceive the world in this detached state.
There is a passive verb in almost every verse (\"nighs\", \"bring\", \"flee\", \"been\", \"harrow\") to give a sense of time passing, but emptily without much active meaning as can be seen for example by the verb \"nighs\" which contains now enthusiasm but the sparse truth the time goes on. This imagery flares up in the penultimate stanza with \"scath\" and \"smart\", but then ultimately retreats back into \"appall\" and \"waits\" to demonstrate that this unspeakable, waiting force of nature or unnature can never be fully awakened to interaction with the living world, despite it\'s most vibrant efforts.
Structurally, the predominance of monosyllables and squat quatrain stanzas that occupy In Tenebris I concoct a poem with a shriveled and withered undertone. The supplement of a Latin quote before the poem itself contributes to the overall opaqueness of the work and it\'s shrouded, almost ominous meaning. The meter chosen by Hardy, steady iambic pentameter split into two verses each time gives the poem a kind of once natural beat that has now been broken or severed in some way.
This helps establish a tone of both resignation and resentment at some past crime, and before that some past enjoyment of the life that is mentioned but almost tortured in the poem e.g. \"birds faint in dread\". This resonates with the final word especially of \"unhope\", communicating succinctly the overall emotion of the poem that is not exactly of identifiable sadness, but more like of happiness and vitality- being out of the light, in shadow.

| Posted on 2013-02-26 | by a guest


.: :.

In my opinion, this poem potrays the dark and sad side of Hardy because it is talking about death, lost strenght and unhope. In general the poem tells us that there is no frustration and dissapointment if you have faith and belive in God, but if you \"Wait(s) in unhope\" then you must face the consequences after dying. Everything can be alive or dead but it has only 1 chance to live (as living things do not born again :P). Also, it may be talking about how painful and dreadful it can be to lose a person that you really loved.
For me, Hardy in a way was trying to judge the relation between people and God.
p.s.: 1. In the Mid-Victorian Era, people started to doubt whether to believe in God or not. In the Late-Victorian Era, poets/novelists mainly wrote about the preoccupation with men\'s relation to God.
2. Hardy was an Atheist.
Hardy also confesses that he has no heart to feel anything (Stanza 5: \'\'Who no heart hath\'\').

| Posted on 2011-09-23 | by a guest


.: :.

\'In Tenebris\', published in 1902, is translated into \"In Darkness\" which defines the poem very well. The poem is very hard to interpret but has a particular pattern which takes a few evaluations to understand.
The key to reading this poem is to take notice of the arrangement of colons and semi-colons which separate the lines to make intentionally different sentences. It also helps to think of winter time as a grim reaper that takes the life of somthing at the begining of each staza.
These punctuation marks for the pattern of Hardy walking outside; He makes a note of death in the first line, thinks depressingly to himself in the next two lines and then makes a small counteracting revelation in the fourth line. Each line may also come across as an enjambment.
In stanza one, Hardy acknowledges winter time nearing (nighs), this sets a melancholic mood to the poem because we know that winter is the bringer of death to all plant life and silence to all animals.

\'but my bereavement pain
It cannot bring again:\'
Notice that this comes after the semi-colon on the first line and comes across a thought that winter has evoked. This is an expression that although the season of death will come again it will not bring round the pain of losing a loved one, ie, \'bereavement\'.
\'Twice no one dies\'
This line comes after a colon which could be substitute for \'because\' and it reveals that this is because there is only one life.
The pattern continues in the second stanza where a flower now dies. The word \'flee\', brings the image of the flower\'s life being reaped, to mind. Hardy does not seem to notice and continues in deeply thinking:
\'But since it once hath been
No more that severing scene\'
Now that death has taken his loved one, \'no more\' will he have to endure it again. \'Severe\' emphasizes how painful it was for him.

\'Can harrow me\'
This is the follow on of the second line enjambment. Harrow is a heavy Victorian soil separator. In this case it refers to the breaking of himself.
An eeriness is felt as a bird now faints in dread, \'faint\' this being the result of the bird witnessing death, contrast with the message of stanza two.
\'I shall not lose old strength
In the lone frost\'s black length\'
Lines of prevalence as Hardy tries to pull himself together, saying that he will stay strong through the lonely dark winter but he instantly contradicts himself believing that his strength is long gone.
The leaves now die in stanza four as Hardy begins to make a positive statement:
\" But friends cannot turn cold
This season of old\"
He believes that friends do not truelly die at heart but is quick to belie that he has no friends.
Pure frustration beholds him in stanza five with the line \' tempest my scath\'. The follows:
\' But love cannot make smart
Again this year his heart \'
Expressing that love cannot fix the damage done to his heart, or atleast for this year. Then he sadly reveals, he has not heart.
The night time falls in the last stanza and a hopeful thought is conveyed:

\' But death will not appal
One who\'s past doubtings all.\'
Meaning that death does not dissapoint those who believe and have faith. Sadly the last line is a counteraction:

\"Waits in unhope\"
that Hardy will remain unhopeful.

| Posted on 2011-03-30 | by a guest




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