"Some people say life is the thing, but I prefer reading"
- Logan Pearsall Smith
Sunday, November 18, 2012
Sunday Poetry - Thomas Hardy
For the next few weeks I'll be featuring the poetry of Thomas Hardy in Sunday Poetry. He's always been one of my favourite authors of novels & poetry. I love that melancholy streak in his writing even though sometimes, as in Jude the Obscure, it becomes a little overwhelming. I'll never forget reading the crucial scene of despair in that novel (I won't describe it for fear of spoilers but if you've read the novel, you know the scene I mean, I'm sure). I was sitting on a train, coming home from university, on a gloomy, wet evening in the middle of winter. Maybe that was more appropriate than reading it on a gloriously sunny day but it was so overwhelmingly sad. Mostly I enjoy Hardy's realistic but grim view of human nature & the workings of Fate but Jude is such a sad book. I would like to reread it one day & see if I can find any optimism in it the second time around.
This week's poem is called He Fears His Good Fortune, which reminded me of Jude & of Hardy's whole outlook on life, really. It was published in his collection, Moments of Vision, in 1917.
There was a glorious time At an epoch of my prime; Mornings beryl-bespread, And evenings golden-red; Nothing gray: And in my heart I said, "However this chanced to be, It is too full for me, Too rare, too rapturous, rash, Its spell must close with a crash Some day!"
The radiance went on Anon and yet anon, And sweetness fell around Like manna on the ground. "I've no claim," Said I, "to be thus crowned: I am not worthy this:- Must it not go amiss? - Well . . . let the end foreseen Come duly!--I am serene." --And it came.
I'm an avid reader who loves middlebrow fiction, 19th century novels, WWI & WWII literature, Golden Age mysteries & history. Other interests include listening to classical music, drinking tea, baking cakes, planning my rose garden & enjoying the antics of my cats, Lucky & Phoebe. Contact me at lynabby16AThotmailDOTcom