Poem Commentaries

Commentaries on Poems for Students

These commentaries on some of Hardy’s best-known poems aim to make them as accessible and enjoyable as possible, at the same time containing rigorous analysis of his writing. As commentaries, they are simply one person’s response to the poems, which other readers may entirely disagree with.

Thomas Hardy: Selected Poems is the edition that I have used when preparing these commentaries. It is edited by Professor Tim Armstrong and published by Pearson in the series Longman Annotated Texts. In addition to the poems, it contains selections from Hardy’s prose, introductions to each book of poetry that Hardy published, and useful notes. I have found it invaluable and am indebted to Professor Armstrong for allowing me to quote from his edition of the poems. The Oxford English Dictionary online is of course another excellent resource. I have been much helped by the eagle-eyed proof-reading of Susan Carrdus and by the technical expertise of Cezary Wsowski.

From Wessex Poems and Other Verses (1898)

From Poems of the Past and the Present (1901)

From Time’s Laughingstocks and Other Verses (1909)

From Satires of Circumstance, Lyrics and Reveries (1914)

From Moments of Vision and Miscellaneous Verses (1917)

From Late Lyrics and Earlier (1922)

From Winter Words in Various Moods and Metres (1928)

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