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...

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