UBC Theses and Dissertations
Poetic lyricism in Thomas Hardy's descriptions of nature Flores, Robert M.
The Introduction shows that scholars disagree strongly about Thomas Hardy’s creative abilities as a poet. To avoid this critical impasse, I limited the scope of my study to an aspect of Hardy’s work about whose artistic value Hardy scholars agree: i.e., the inherent lyricism in Hardy’s descriptions of nature. In Chapter 1, I study sixteen poems written by Hardy in which nature is either the principal or the sole subject of the poem and show that the nature section(s) may be isolated and stand on their own. In Chapter 2, I examine and versify some of Hardy’s prose descriptions of nature to (1) show that some prose passages, like the nature sections in the poems discussed in Chapter 1, may be taken out of the whole and stand as a poem or prose narrative on their own and (2) bring their lyricism to the fore. The following excerpt from The Return of the Native (Gatrell 17) is an example of what I did: MY VERSIFICATION There the form stood, | motionless as the hill beneath. | Above the plain rose the hill, | above the hill rose the barrow, | above the barrow rose the figure, | above the figure was nothing | that could be mapped elsewhere | than on a celestial globe. ORIGINAL TEXT - PROSE There the form stood, motionless as the hill beneath. Above the plain rose the hill, above the hill rose the barrow, above the barrow rose the figure. Above the figure was nothing that could be mapped elsewhere than on a celestial globe. The strong rhythm given to this prose passage by the shortness of the sentences, the repetition of the words “above the” (rhetorical anaphora) and “rose the hill,” “hill rose the barrow,” “barrow rose the figure,” “figure” (repetition and assonance) bring out Hardy’s poetic intent and lyricism. In the Epilogue, I summarise the basic conclusions reached in the main body of the essay in regard to: (1) the role that Hardy’s descriptions of nature play within the passages where they occur and (2) the most important syntactic elements found in Hardy’s lyrical descriptions of nature.
Item Citations and Data
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International