Sunday, 2 June 2013

In praise of Thomas Hardy's poetry

Since I first dipped into The Mayor of Casterbridge in my entry year in grammar school, I've always enjoyed the novels of Thomas Hardy, though they are sadly out of fashion now. I read his entire canon and then graduated to his poetry. I'll admit that I don't like them all and, in my opinion, Hardy was a much better novelist than he was a poet. Ironically, he abandoned fiction after receiving an increasingly negative reception from the critics of the time  and turned entirely to writing verse. 

I like his shorter works and here's one that dropped into my inbox today. It seems to resonate with the sunny weather we are having at the moment. It's called 'The High School Lawn'.

Gray prinked with rose,
White tipped with blue,
Shoes with gay hose,
Sleeves of chrome hue;
Fluffed frills of white,
Dark bordered light;
Such shimmerings through
Trees of emerald green are eyed
This afternoon, from the road outside.

They whirl around:
Many laughters run
With a cascade's sound;
Then a mere one.

A bell: they flee:
Silence then:

So it will be
Some day again
With them, ...with me.

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