Wednesday, April 25, 2012

National Poetry Month - Thomas Hardy

Silver Lake - Brighton, Utah

Poets often cover emotional themes in their work.  This "break-up" piece by Thomas Hardy is masterful in its moodiness.  His language captures the realization of a loss and the detachment that follows.   Beautiful in its stark description, Hardy's "Neutral Tones" is one of my favorite "sad" poems.


We stood by a pond that winter day,
And the sun was white, as though chidden of God,
And a few leaves lay on the starving sod;
         – They had fallen from an ash, and were gray.
Your eyes on me were as eyes that rove
Over tedious riddles of years ago;
And some words played between us to and fro
         On which lost the more by our love.

The smile on your mouth was the deadest thing
Alive enough to have strength to die;
And a grin of bitterness swept thereby
         Like an ominous bird a-wing….

Since then, keen lessons that love deceives,
And wrings with wrong, have shaped to me
Your face, and the God curst sun, and a tree,
         And a pond edged with grayish leaves.

--Thomas Hardy

1 comment:

  1. Powerful in it's harshness, the reality of the end of this relationship is very poignant. I can see why this one sticks with you.