Thomas Hardy: Poems
Analysis of In Tenebris II 12th Grade
Psalm 142, verse 2: “No man cared...” This Biblical verse applies perfectly to “In Tenbris”, a poem written out of despair for the society Hardy in which lived. He expresses his pity and contempt for the materialist citizens and power hungry rulers.
The rhyme scheme is a playful and simply happy one (abab), something similar to a child’s poem. This frisky rhyme scheme is in sharp contrast to the mood of the poet and the feel of the poem. The pattern may reflect the optimism of society, which is in fact, hollow and full of grief.
It is worth noting that each stanza ends with the word ‘here’. It may be a cryptic attempt to tell the reader that he is not being noticed, or ‘heard’ (a homophone). Just as most readers would ignore the double meaning behind ‘here’, the society is ignoring Hardy’s cries and warnings.
The poem exhibits dusty/smoky imagery. Unlike sunny weather, dusty weather may symbolize allusion. In dust or smoke, we can’t see properly, and hence don’t realize the reality of what’s going on around us. The people of his society are blind ad fooling themselves with their optimism. Perhaps that is the message he wishes to send to his readers. Images of wind and breezes symbolize how this happiness is temporary, like our...
Join Now to View Premium Content
GradeSaver provides access to 725 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 4211 literature essays, 1403 sample college application essays, 171 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.
Already a member? Log in