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The Complete Poems

4.07  ·  Rating Details ·  2,210 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
Thomas Hardy's first love was poetry. It was not until 1898, when he was 58, that his first book of poetry, Wessex Poems was published. For the final years of his life he abandoned fiction and devoted himself entirely to poetry; he is now not only regarded as one of the most important English novelists but is also a poet of major stature and increasing popularity. The Comp ...more
Paperback, 1040 pages
Published February 9th 2002 by Palgrave Macmillan (first published January 1st 1977)
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Community Reviews

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Nov 10, 2009 karen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: pomes, favorites
Neutral Tones

We stood by a pond that winter day,
And the sun was white, as though chidden of God,
And a few leaves lay on the starving sod,
—They had fallen from an ash, and were gray.

Your eyes on me were as eyes that rove
Over tedious riddles solved years ago;
And some words played between us to and fro—
On which lost the more by our love.

The smile on your mouth was the deadest thing
Alive enough to have strength to die;
And a grin of bitterness swept thereby
Like an ominous bird a-wing….
Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.)
Jun 21, 2010 Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) by:
I just completed the variorum edition of Thomas Hardy: The Complete Poems, edited by James Gibson (Palgrave, 2001). I actually read every single poem in this massive tome, and all I can say is that it is breathtakingly amazing. I have only read the complete poetic works of two other poets--Emily Dickinson and Christina Rossetti; and Thomas Hardy is certainly their equal, not only in output, but in quality, and Voice.

Hardy's poetry spans a period of time from the 1860s to his death in 1928. It is
Aug 18, 2010 Bruce rated it it was amazing
In his fifties, after he had written all the novels for which he is justly acclaimed, Hardy turned to his first love and the literary form for which he wanted to be remembered, poetry. His nearly 1000 poems are collected in this volume, and reading them is a feast. Hardy is traditional in preferring both rhyme and meter, but he is creative in the variety with which he uses them. Often he varies the meter in unusual ways within a poem but usually than maintains the variation through multiple vers ...more
Sep 05, 2009 Larry rated it it was amazing
Hardy the Novelist I have known as far back as I can recall but Hardy the Poet has only been known to me for about 6 years. I picked up (saved) a 1928 edition of collected poems out of a recycling bin which I now cherish and which is constantly at my elbow. The Complete Poems (paperback) I acquired in order to take it on the road, and for it to be well handled and take the abuse (not intended) which my cherished fragile hard-back 1928 edition may not tolerate. I now consider Hardy (like D.H. Law ...more
Rosa Ramôa
May 21, 2015 Rosa Ramôa rated it really liked it

"A felicidade não depende do que nos falta, mas do bom uso do que temos". (Thomas Hardy)
Jul 02, 2008 Dustin rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Poetry like art is subjective to the eye of the beholder. Even in the midst of difficult text the subtle human experience of trudging through the past can bring on melancholy of our own lives and recent past.
Oct 07, 2016 Markus rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
955 beautiful poems, mostly a heartbreak, the poet has succeded to write on every thinkable shade of
love, romance, comedy, tragedy and drama of life.
Incredibly witty and intelligent, I only regret my own feeble memory beeing unable to keep these poems in my mind. It would be nice to call them up at will and speak them out in the right mood and company.
I will keep this book now next to Emily Dickinsons poems, giving it the rank of shared favorites.
A must read for poetry lovers.
Aug 03, 2009 Emily rated it liked it
Someone reminded me about Thomas Hardy recently. Thanks to the haphazard way in which, as children, we come to discover the things that -- once sensational -- now twiddle their thumbs in the vast social basement known as "culture," I loved Hardy's poems before I even knew about his novels. He has one in particular, called "During Wind and Rain," that always appears in my head before a storm (i want the title to be a Lear/Twelfth Night reference, and so i have never tried to find out if it actual ...more
Dec 26, 2015 Kevin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've read through the entirety of Hardy's poetical works twice now, and I think I can confidently say, though with more than a little disappointment, that I won't be doing so ever again. I want to like Hardy's poetry, and at times, here and there, I do, but his metrical choices, his predilection for repetition, and the way he assumes line breaks are always pauses do more to dissuade me from his verse than anything enjoyable or admirable in them could possibly counterbalance. I'll probably read s ...more
Aug 02, 2007 Ambar rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: who want to enjoy living in england countrysite
Shelves: literature
I am living about less than 10 miles from Hardy's cottage. I made second visit and try to understand the life of Dorset's landscape. Under the Greenwood Tree and Far from Madding Crowd gave clear evidences that Hardy portray cottage's landscape into beautiful novel. The poem's book is also help me to understand many old english words -things that I am fascinated about.
Lady Dixie
Thomas Hardy is unusual among writers because he was successful at both novels and at poetry. Additionally, he can be studied as a Victorian or as a Modern writer because he was so long-lived (1840-1928). My favorite poem is "Neutral Tones," about the apathy he and his first wife Emma felt towards their marriage.
Oct 30, 2011 Charlotte rated it really liked it
I loved Thomas Hardy's poetry. Reading this for class was an enjoyable experience.

My favorites included: Neutral Tones,Under the waterfall and The Darkling Thrush. I like the melancholic aspects to his narrative and the imagery that he uses. Color is also important in Hardy's poetry.

Hardy is by far one of my favorite poets and this has inspired me to go on and read his novels.
Kat Morrison
Oct 05, 2012 Kat Morrison rated it it was amazing
I love the emotion in Hardy's poetry, you can feel his pain. He wrote mainly about his complicated marriage and I feel as if I lived through it with them. I have been reading his poetry for 20 years and it never gets dull. I couldn't name a favourite because it depends on my mood and what is happening in my life. My favourite poet without a doubt.
Mar 30, 2008 Sam rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
Hardy, Hardy, Hardy... a brilliant novelist, but as a poet, he was uneven at best. He has moments of lyric brilliance in such poems as "The Darkling Thrush", but far too often, his poems have an air of the trivial. They are pretty - sometimes beautiful - rarely moving though, and even less often is there a hint of depth.

Worth reading for the best poems though.
Daniel Petrides
Sep 06, 2012 Daniel Petrides rated it it was amazing
Shelves: drama-and-poetry
Hardy was a poet above all else and with a corpus of work like this it is clear why he felt the urge to registered his passion after June. Check out the self in seeing and beyond the last lamp for two lesser known gems
Oct 25, 2007 Wendy rated it really liked it
My rating is particularly aimed at the poems of 1912, which I love. They were written after the death of us first wife, with whom latterly he had a fraught relationship. When she died unexpectedly, he mourned the love they had lost before. Lovely.
Richard Epstein
Dec 11, 2012 Richard Epstein rated it really liked it
There's just so much of Hardy in The Complete Poems, and every single page of it sounds so Hardyesque. They are as sick that surfeit with too much as they that starve with nothing, says Shakespeare, so read sparingly. But read. In conclusion, let us quote Bruce Willis: "This is Hardy here. Go."
Jeff Holt
Mar 31, 2012 Jeff Holt rated it it was amazing
Hardy is one of my primary inspirations. While I haven't read every poem in this massive volume, my favorites, such as "Neutral Tones," are always expanding to include poems that are new to me.
Leni King
Dec 05, 2012 Leni King rated it it was amazing
Strong influence on my own poetry - even though mine is a very different genre. "Old Furniture" is one that comes to mind - Hardy's images of all the hands pulling at the draws over generations....
Sep 25, 2010 Coral rated it it was amazing
My favourite collection of poems yet. Hardy's talent ripples through his work and "Under the Waterfall" and "Beeny Cliff" are two of my most favourite poems of all time.
Jul 09, 2010 Agnes rated it it was amazing
One of the greatest poets
Kristan rated it it was amazing
Feb 12, 2012
Ryan Charlton
Ryan Charlton rated it it was amazing
Jan 22, 2012
Helen Harris
Helen Harris rated it it was amazing
Feb 23, 2014
Michael Seewer
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May 18, 2015
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Dec 21, 2012
Elaine Bilbao
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Feb 04, 2014
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Feb 07, 2015
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Feb 14, 2014
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Thomas Hardy, OM, was an English author of the naturalist movement, although in several poems he displays elements of the previous romantic and enlightenment periods of literature, such as his fascination with the supernatural. He regarded himself primarily as a poet and composed novels mainly for financial gain. The bulk of his work, set mainly in the semi-fictional land of Wessex, delineates cha ...more
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“The smile on your mouth was the deadest thing alive enough to have strength to die. (from "Neutral Tones")” 11 likes
“I looked up from my writing,
And gave a start to see,
As if rapt in my inditing,
The moon's full gaze on me.”
More quotes…