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The Going Analysis

Author: poem of Thomas Hardy Type: poem Views: 28

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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 gone

     Where I could not follow

     With wing of swallow

To gain one glimpse of you ever anon!

     Never to bid good-bye

     Or lip me the softest call,

Or utter a wish for a word, while I

Saw morning harden upon the wall,

     Unmoved, unknowing

     That 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 dankness

     The yawning blankness

Of the perspective sickens me!

     You were she who abode

     By 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 weather

     We'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 know

     That such swift fleeing

     No soul foreseeing--

Not even I--would undo me so!


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

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Hardy didn't love his wife at all. This whole poem is driven by guilt and selfishness.

| Posted on 2016-01-02 | by a guest

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Like many of Hardy’s poems that were written after his wife’s death in December 1912, ‘The Going’ is an expression of the complex grief that dominated the poet’s mentality for a significant period of his life. This grief is moulded into a rough elegiac structure, travelling through emotions of shock, despair and resignation, all of which often accumulate into a sense of confusion about his wife. However, although reconciliation does eventually occur, one cannot help but notice that Hardy has to force himself to come to terms with the loss of his wife. Moreover, behind the thin veil of acceptance, he exposes the mental frailty that grief has left behind.
The first stanza is essentially questioning the late Emma Hardy on why she died so suddenly, without expressing any feelings of previous unhappiness. By asking ‘Why did you give no hint that night […] you would close your term here,’ without any introduction, the author is immediately interrogating his wife. This demonstrates his pure desperation to communicate with his wife once more. In addition to this, the subject of the stanza is you, which suggests that Hardy believes his wife to be some way responsible for her own tragic death. He does so despite the fact that he had failed to notice her ill health and unhappiness. Therefore, one can interpret Hardy’s questioning to be a shift of guilt onto his wife’s shoulders, which ultimately contributes to a sense of confusion, but also seems to be Hardy’s method of coping with grief, as admission of guilt would lead to painful regret, as well as anger.

| Posted on 2015-12-31 | by a guest

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i like this poem coz it is about his wife and he hasnt spoke to her for a while xxx

| Posted on 2014-02-05 | by a guest

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poetry is for fat/jamesblunt listening/driving ford !!!.

| Posted on 2012-11-18 | by a guest

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poetry is for fat/jamesblunt listening/driving ford !!!.

| Posted on 2012-11-18 | by a guest

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Thomas Hardy, through his moving portrayal of his thoughts and feelings after his wife\'s death, conveys to us much sadness, guilt and regret. To achieve this, he uses affecting words, shows us of his troubles and worries and expresses his thoughts and memories. He tells us of his terrible loss and his great sadness with such vividness that he conveys his feelings clearly gains much understanding from the readers.

| Posted on 2012-07-03 | by a guest

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The title of the poem is a euphemism as is it when he says \'you would close your term here\'. He uses these as this poem was part of his Veteris Vestigia Flammae collection which saw him trying to come to terms with Emma\'s death. ~

| Posted on 2012-05-17 | by a guest

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Heartily THANKS for this summary. Will apply it for the best.... Thank you :)

| Posted on 2012-03-20 | by a guest

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In 'The Going' Hardy is reflecting on Emma's death, his wife. It is written in a fast pace and portrays strong emotions and rhythm. In the first stanza, the first word is "why". This suggests a sudden urgencey and blame. He is accusing himself of her death and for their struggled relationship. "And calmly" implys that he believes Emma was happy to leave and escape his selfishness and neglect.
In the second stanza he is also conveying his selfishness in grieving, it is only about him as if he was her priority when "going". In the stanza he is trying to tell Emma about his greif and emptyness.
In the third stanza Hardy says "you" conveying that she was alone. This suggests that he neglected her when she was living. This is more regret. It is also a changing point in the poem as he is now focusing on her instead of his own selfishness. "darkening dankness...yawning blankness" is negetive as he has now realised that he was never there for Emma. No punctuation suggests this emptyness.
In the fouth stanza he is viewing the beginning of their relationship and uses positive language. "us" suggests this and that they were close and very much together.
In the 5th stanza he has altered back to negative language again reflecting on the "latter" point of their relationship. "days long dead" is where he is questioning the end of their relationship and why it changed for the worse. He is back to a resentful, blaming tone. It is the first reference he uses to death but instead of describing Emma he is talking about their relationship. This portrays that he believes their relationship died well before she did.
In the final stanza the rhythm has broken down, representing how their relationship and he has. The disjointed end shows he is emotionally struggling.
C x

| Posted on 2010-05-28 | by a guest

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