What is the theme/ message/ subject matter/ central idea of the poem ‘The darkling thrush’ by Thomas Hardy?
Thomas Hardy’s poem ‘The Darkling Thrush’ is a nature poem with the theme of HOPE. Here the poet mourns the end of a century, the Twentieth Century, by depicting the winter atmosphere in its desolate and hopeless state full of frost, snow and heavy fog.
But the condition changes suddenly when the speaker hears a thrush (a songbird) singing cheerfully in that desolate and dead landscape. He cannot understand the reason for such cheerfulness. Who knows but it may be the thought that the end of something is also the beginning of a new one? So, by introducing the thrush, the poet gives the message that we should look at things from a positive angle and find a reason to be hopeful and happy even in difficult situations of life.
The theme of the poem is nature and search for meaning. The speaker searches for meaning in this world where he finds no hope for humanity’s future. He has given the detail about dying old world but cannot replace the old with a new world. The old civilization decays and he finds nothing to replace it with.
In this poem nature is referred as a governing cycle of life and death and is largely indifferent to human need or desire. This poem is about the death of hope in 19th century; for having lost faith in god and nature, people could place faith in no other benevolent force.