What does the word ‘darkling’ mean in the poem “The Darkling Thrush” by Thomas Hardy? What connection does the adjective ‘darkling’ have with the thrush in the poem?
‘Darkling’ means ‘of the darkness’.
When the word ‘darkling’ is used as an adjective for the thrush, it’s a complete antithesis (contrast). In the poem the darkness or the dying of light is representative of the death of a century, and the despair it brings. In such desolate winter landscape, there was a thrush who sang of hope, of a new beginning. So, the thrush is a symbol of faith and hope. This only brings a lesson that we should find hope even in the face of utter despair.
In the poem “The Darkling Thrush”, the poet describes Darkling as hidden in the dark.
Darkling used as the adjective in the poem to builds up a contrast of desolation around the speaker, reflective of his own state of mind, with joyful song of thrush. Thrush is a little bird and there is no hope for it. The poem was written at the end of 19th century.Everything seems to be mourning over the death of the century.Suddenly, the joyful voice of the little thrush is a reminder of the fact that death is not the end. There is life beyond death. The new century is about to take birth.
It may bring in something positive.