This volume was first published in November 1917, three years after Satires of Circumstance. With the subsequent addition of ‘Men Who March Away’ there are 160 poems in this collection. Most of them were written in the war years, a high proportion of them being so personal that Hardy could not have contemplated drawing attention to himself by publishing them, except in volume form. Even this embarrassed him. ‘I do not expect much notice will be taken of these poems’, he wrote; ‘they mortify the human sense of self-importance by showing, or suggesting, that human beings are of no matter or appreciable value in this nonchalant universe.’* As could be expected of a poet approaching his eightieth year, most of the poems are reminiscent; many are inspired by the memory of Emma Hardy. The ‘finale’ leads up to her death and his own; he could not expect to publish another volume of poetry.
KeywordsInnocent Victim Whispering Gallery York Public Library Baker Street Greek Muse
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