In my first posting on Thomas Hardy’s poem ‘The Voice’ about his dead wife Emma’s calling to him (The Misty Woman (1 of 3), I attempted to described how a close examination of the language of the first line reflected not only his intense longing, but the theme of the whole poem – a woman moving in and out of his consciousness.
What I want to do in this posting is take a closer look at one aspect of the structure of the language throughout the remainder of the whole poem and examine how that contributes (perhaps, albeit subconsciously) to the meaning.
Woman much missed, how you call to me, call to me,
Saying that now you are not as you were
When you had changed from the one who was all to me,
But as at first, when our day was fair.
Can it be you that I hear? Let me view you, then,
Standing as when I drew near to the town
Where you would wait for me: yes, as I knew you then,
Even to the original air-blue gown!
Or is it only the breeze, in its listlessness
Travelling across the wet mead to me here,
You being ever dissolved to wan wistlessness,
Heard no more again far or near?
Thus I; faltering forward,
Leaves around me falling,
Wind oozing thin through the thorn from norward,
And the woman calling. Continue reading “The Misty Woman (2 of 3)”