On the World of Nature, and of Living Things
‘The Aërolite’ may serve to open this consideration of Hardy’s views on Nature. The poem tells us that ‘a germ of Consciousness’ once came to the world, perhaps from some wandering heavenly body (an aërolite); that it took root; and that the consequences of its quickening have been to make humanity conscious ‘of stains and stingings’. It is an old dilemma: if ‘mortal moan’ is ‘begot of sentience’, would it not be better to get rid of ‘this disease / Called sense, here sown’, or in some way to ‘limit its registerings to good’? Since neither solution is feasible within the foreseeable future — the question, as put, is academic — the poet proceeds on his way: ‘I left [the seers] pondering.’
KeywordsLiving Thing Heavenly Body Genuine Emotion Belated Recognition Hollowed Spot
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- 2.Frank R. Southerington. Hardy’s Vision of Man (London: Chatto and Windus, 1971; New York: Barnes & Noble, 1971) p. 69.Google Scholar