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.