The Pattern of Hardy's Poetry

The Pattern of Hardy's Poetry

The Pattern of Hardy's Poetry

The Pattern of Hardy's Poetry

Excerpt

This study of Hardy's poetry is organized, as the title suggests, around a single, simple assertion-that there is a pattern in the poetry, a pattern having both philosophical and poetic aspects, and that by discovering and examining this pattern we can come to a proper understanding of the poems. The pattern that I find in Hardy is not an intricate one-no Jamesian figure in the carpet-but simply the eternal conflict between irreconcilables, which was for Hardy the first principle, and indeed the only principle, of universal order. This idea of eternal conflict is manifested not only in the philosophical content of Hardy's poems, but also in their structure, diction, and imageryit gives form to every aspect of substance and technique.

The principal intention of this book is to define and explain the ways in which the pattern of Hardy's poetry works; I have therefore arranged the central section of the book (Chapters 3-7) into separate discussions of Hardy's philosophy, style, forms, diction, etc. I have found it necessary, however, to preface these analyses with two introductory chapters which treat Hardy's reputation and some of the reasons for it; and in the last three chapters I have drawn . . .

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