Analysis of Hardy Poems

Analysis of ???A Meeting with Despair by Thomas Hardy

Both of these poems, A Meeting with Despair and A Broken Appointment, written by Hardy are rather dark and depressing and it seems that a major focus of Hardy??™s poetry revolves around a pessimistic view of relationships and on how cruel life is to humans. This is particularly apparent in ???A Meeting with Despair??? where the persona compares the moor and its surroundings to his own life and explores false hope. The dark moor represents the man??™s life; this can be seen in line 5 and 6: ???”This scene, like my own life,” I said, “is one where many glooms abide;???. The dark and bleak description of the moor is emphasised by the use of alliteration ???deadly dun??? and the focus on colours and shape of the land which is described as being black and a featureless contour that is, a life free of excitement, and filled only with bleakness; paralleling to the personas miserable life

In the third stanza, the persona described the ???ray-lit??™ clouds, which offer a glimmer of hope in the man??™s dull life. In this fourth stanza, the man explores his guilt and questions if he would be really worthy of the gift of going to Heaven. But this hope is quickly diminished when a hideous monster appears before him and talks of the darkness of the moor. This horrible life form is a symbol of the man??™s own despair and the man??™s confrontation with Despair symbolises the man trying to convince himself that life will get better and there is hope. This symbol of Despair is reinforced by the title of the poem ???A Meeting with Despair???. In the last stanza of the poem, Despair makes the ray-lit clouds disappear and thus destroying the man??™s hope who is devastated. Here I believe Hardy is trying to convey the message of false hope, and the pointlessness of dreaming of better things in certain terrible situations. In this last stanza, Hardy uses an excessive amount of punctuation to try create dramatic pause and suspense. The use of the short sentences helps to build the situation up until the last statement, ???then chuckled he???. This creates a sinister and terrifying mood that despair is inescapable and an inevitable part of life.

The whole poem seems to be a debate between the man??™s guilty conscience and the thought that he could have a better life, something which is often thought about by humans. The ultimate destruction of hope by Despair, aided by this personification, reinforces the power and the toll that a lack of hope can take on someone??™s life and adheres to Hardy??™s pessimistic style of poetry.

Genevieve French