Can you please provide an easy and short summary of Thomas Hardy’s poem ‘The Darkling Thrush’?
Thomas Hardy’s ‘The Darkling Thrush‘ is one person’s reaction to the end of the Twentieth century. This can be called an elegy as it mourns the death of an era with cautious hope for the beginning of a new one.
The speaker was looking at the outside world leaning upon the coppice gate. The atmosphere was sad and gloomy with winter’s frost, snow and heavy fog. It was approaching the dusk — the end of the day. The stems of the climbing plants, dead for the winter, looked like strings of a broken lyre notching 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.
Suddenly a joyful song arose in this bleak atmosphere. The sound was coming from the twig overhead. It was an old thrush bird — feeble, lean and small, with its feathers disarranged by the wind. Though the thrush’s appearance does not arouse any hope, it sings to mark the struggle to survive in this winter.
No one knows what inspires the thrush to sing so heartily in this gloomy atmosphere. There was no real reason nearby or far away for his song. It may be for the good things that have been or may be in the hope of good things that are to come. May be there was a reason to be happy at all that the speaker was unaware of.
Thus The Darkling Thrush depicts a world of gloom and mystery with a message to find a reason to be hopeful and happy.
Here is our full analysis of the poem: The Darkling Thrush by Thomas Hardy: Summary & Analysis