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Poems of the Past and the Present

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-1414244013
ISBN-10: 1414244010
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About the Author

Famed novelist and poet, Hardy is one of the key figures in English literature. Known for his forceful studies of life, his work reflects his pessimism and sense of tragedy in human life. For his literary contribution he was awarded the Order of Merit in 1910. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 184 pages
  • Publisher: IndyPublish.com (January 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1414244010
  • ISBN-13: 978-1414244013
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Format: Paperback
Thomas Hardy's second poetry collection, 1901's Poems of the Past and the Present, may be his best original volume and is likely my personal favorite. It definitely showed that the greatness of Wessex Tales, the first book of poetry by a writer who had long been famous and acclaimed for novels, was no fluke. The book may well have Hardy's best individual poems, including "The Darkling Thrush," perhaps his best known work. Other classics include "`I Said to Love,'" "A Broken Appointment," "The Ruined Maid," and "In Tenebris." Also here are some lesser-known works that are among my personal favorites: "To an Unborn Pauper Child," "The Respectable Burgher on `The Higher Criticism'," and "The Church-Builder." General quality aside, this collection is notable for several features distinguishing it from Hardy's other great poetry books. First, it begins with his famous Queen Victoria memorial. Second, it has a War Poems section that includes some of Hardy's most celebrated poems ("Drummer Hodge," etc.) as well as some of his strangest and most speculative: "The Souls of the Slain," "The Sick Battle-God," etc. This predated World War I, for which Hardy would also write some of the best and most well-known poems, and soon seemed eerily prophetic. The fact is particularly interesting in that "The Sick Battle-God," which closes the section, is uncharacteristically optimistic, declaring that mankind's bloodshed lust had ceased. Also setting this collection apart is the "Poems of Pilgrimage" section, a poetic memento of Hardy's Italy visit; some of his most interesting and personal work is here. Finally, a short section has a notable selection of the kind of material to which Hardy rarely turned - translations from various languages and other imitations.Read more ›
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