Saturday, 12 December 2015

Book #55

Woman Much Missed by Thomas Hardy


After the death of his wife Emma, a grief-stricken Hardy wrote some of the best verse of his career. Moving and evocative, it ranks among the greatest elegiac poetry in the language. 

I have never been able to fault Hardy. Having spent immeasurable hours since my teenage years reading his masterpieces and coming away mesmerised every single time, I've always meant to immerse myself in his poetry. After realising my serious lack of capability in grasping poetry, I worried I wouldn't be able to appreciate the verse of my hero. Luckily, Hardy has astounded me yet again.

He writes this selection as a grief-ridden husband who has lost his wife. This struck a chord with me for personal reasons, and probably has added to my appreciation. His words are beautiful, mournful, and haunting, with his remorse resounding through each of them like a strike to the heart.

For the first time, I found myself understanding rhythm, symbolism, and meaning in poetry. I'm unsure whether this is due to my deep knowledge of Hardy's prose, the way I could relate to the verse, or simply the poet's skill. Nevertheless, this is the first poetic installment of the Little Black Classics range that I have absolutely adored.

Thank you, Mr Hardy.

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