First published in December 1898, this is much the shortest of Hardy’s eight volumes of poetry. With the last five poems, which were a late addition, it comprises only 51 poems. It is a miscellaneous collection, presenting, among others, sample poems of two apprenticeship periods which are separated by thirty years. Several of the longer ones are distinguished by strong Wessex associations, and a few are related to Wessex novels. Altogether, only four had been published previously, two in Hardy’s prose fiction. The narrative element is prominent, as could be expected of a writer who had devoted himself to fiction for over a quarter of a century. Poems relating to the Napoleonic War reflect an absorbing interest, which developed from Hardy’s boyhood until it reached its full expression in The Dynasts.
KeywordsNeutral Tone Poor Girl Miscellaneous Collection Early Poem Outer Nature
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