In a wood

In a wood

Thomas Hardy was a Victorian realist and influenced by the Romanticism. Even though he thought of himself as a poet, it took quite some time for him to get his work published. In a wood is one of his poems, where he glorifies nature.

About the poet

Some might say that Hardy was one of the last writers of Romanticism. Even though he was only ten years old when the period officially ended. Born on 2 June 1840, he was a child of the nineteenth century. He grew up to become a critic in the Victorian society.

Hardy did publish, but not only poetry. His first poetry he published in 1898. This didn’t mean that people knew him. He wrote books such as Far from the Madding Crowd and Tess of the d’Urbervilles. Still, he was a mentor for many other poets. After his death in 1928, he was inspired by people like Ezra Pound and Philip Larkin.

The author Hardy received various prizes, including the Order of Merit. He was also nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature. It is not for any reason that the BBC included the work of Hardy in the top fifty of The Big Read.

In a wood

By Thomas Hardy
In a wood

Pale beech and pine-tree blue,
Set in one clay,
Bough to bough cannot you
Bide out your day?
When the rains skim and skip,
Why mar sweet comradeship,
Blighting with poison-drip
Neighborly spray?


Heart-halt and spirit-lame,
Unto this wood I came
As to a nest;
Dreaming that sylvan peace
Offered the harrowed ease—
Nature a soft release
From men’s unrest.


But, having entered in,
Great growths and small
Show them to men akin—
Combatants all!
Sycamore shoulders oak,
Bines the slim sapling yoke,
Ivy-spun halters choke
Elms stout and tall.


Touches from ash, O wych,
Sting you like scorn!
You, too, brave hollies, twitch
Sidelong from thorn.
Even the rank poplars bear
Illy a rival’s air,
Cankering in black despair
If overborne.


Since, then, no grace I find
Taught me of trees,
Turn I back to my kind,
Worthy as these.
There at least smiles abound,
There discourse trills around,
There, now and then, are found



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