How has Thomas Hardy depicted Nature in his poem ‘The Darkling Thrush’?
Thomas Hardy often shows a pessimistic and fatalistic outlook in his poetry. Rejecting the Victorian belief of a benevolent God, he laments on the bleakness of human condition, inspired by the dark rugged landscape of his native land Dorset.
In his poem ‘The Darkling Thrush’ Hardy has painted a gloomy and desolate landscape of a chill winter evening. The frost was ‘spectre-grey’. The tangled bine-stems looked like strings of broken lyre pointing at the sky. People were seeking their house fires in the bitter cold. There was no cheerfulness and vibrancy of life.
The century’s end seems to have made the regular winter more bitter this time. The cloudy sky seems to be covering the century’s corpse (dead body). The wind resembles its death-lament. Life’s pulse seems to have stopped in the cold. Every spirit on earth seems similarly desolate as the speaker.
In spite of this gloomy weather condition, the poem ends with a tone of hopefulness with the melody of a thrush which has probably found a way out to be happy in the distressed time too.
He compares the sharp outlines of the winter landscape to the sharp features of a corpse — the corpse of the dying nineteenth century. The canopy of clouds seems like the century’s tomb and the winter wind seems to be singing it’s dirge. The tangled bine stems looked like strings of broken lyres pointing at the sky. People were seeking their house fires in the bitter cold.