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Selected Poems (Oxford Poetry Library)

4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  3,027 ratings  ·  72 reviews
Treasury of 70 poems remarkable for lyricism, subtlety, deep emotion and intense perception expressed with a unique diction and imaginative power. "The Darkling Thrush," "Hap," "The Ruined Maid," "The Convergence of the Twain," "Ah, Are You Digging on My Grave?," "I Look into My Glass" and many more.
Paperback, 80 pages
Published October 24th 1995 by Dover Publications (first published 1925)
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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….
Pete daPixie
I haven't read any poetry since reading Stephen Fry's 'The Ode Less Travelled'. Now that I have, I find that I am armed with pencil in hand making notes. (I must rub them's a library book)
The wonderful Mr Fry has caused me to count each line of verse to reveal it's metre. HELP!
I used to just read the stuff. Now I'm dissecting the darn thing like a fully qualified anorak.
Long metre or short metre. Now I have to metricise each line and compare verses. I don't think there is a cure.
Dec 06, 2007 Nicole rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like poetry and or Hardy's novels
I know a little too much about Thomas Hardy, thanks to a college seminar on his life and work. It's my humble opinion that some of Hardy's poetry is genius, like Neutral Tones. Much of his poetry is heavy with regret, memory, bleakness, mourning, and lots of other profound emotions. There are some happier poems, but don't read Hardy for a pep talk on love or human nature.

I am particularly drawn to his poetry about war (what my senior paper was all about), and recommend you read "Poems of War and
Ahora que te has ido
para siempre, de pronto
te imagino diciendo
otra vez: «No merece
la pena despedirse.»
Christopher H.
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
Mike Lindgren
A stunning, life-altering revelation. I had been aware since my undergraduate days of Hardy's second career as a poet -- one of the strangest in the history of English letters -- and the nearly fanatical devotion he engendered among readers of a certain stripe, without ever having made the effort to penetrate the mystery of his verse. The wait has been richly rewarded. As many other critics have noted, Hardy wrote some of the weirdest verse imaginable; Robert Mezey, in his cheerleader-ly introdu ...more
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
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
Víctor Bermúdez
Pese a su esfuerzo reseñable, la traducción de esta versión que publica Pre-textos no me parece a la altura de Thomas Hardy. De este último rescato en este libro su compenetración con el espacio y los ecos emocionales que se producen en esa declamación.
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
Lady Jane
I haven't read the entire anthology, but this one is my favorite poem by this author, who also wrote Tess of the D'Urbervilles:

Now I am dead you sing to me
The songs we used to know,
But while I lived you had no wish
Or care for doing so.

Now I am dead you come to me
In the moonlight, comfortless;
Ah, what would I have given alive
To win such tenderness!

When you are dead, and stand to me
Not differenced, as now,
But like again, will you be cold
As when we lived, or how?

All those traditions honoring the de
Everett Darling
Thomas Hardy wanted to be remembered for being a great poet rather than a great novelist, and this self-assembled collection attempts to herald that idea.
He is certainly a great poet, with his focus on the human relationship with time and memory and other people, love and heartbreak, understandably simple yet profound lines on topics all people empathize with. That he was bridled by the age in which he lived, writing in metred verse, with an apparent greek/classical education, he somehow transc
Whilst no one could doubt Hardy's importance as a novelist, it seems that many modern readers forget that he was also an excellent poet. At times strange, at others formal and traditional, there's always a unique beauty to many of his poems. I highly recommend the Penguin Classics edition of his 'Selected Poetry', edited by Robert Mezey. Mezey's unabashed love and admiration of Hardy makes reading his poetry all the more enjoyable.


When the Present has latched its post
While I haven't actually finished this book, one is never really done with a book of poetry. This is a decent collection with all the "Poems of 1912-1913" from "Satires of Circumstance" included.

Hardy as a poet is very different from Hardy as a novelist, the way most of us know him. His poems are almost invariably short, some are beautifully ambiguous, others as direct and clear as lightning across the night sky, a few are playful ("The Ruined Maid"). A few are famous, like "Channel Firing" and
Gregory Knapp
One of the great poets in English -- but definitely a "glass half-empty" sort of guy.

The jacket copy for the Oxford World's Classics paperback puts it nicely: "His verse touches all the common themes of existence: birth, childhood, love, marriage, ageing, death. If his age brings anything to them, it is an old man's ironic, elegiac sense that hopes are likely to be defeated and losses sustained, and that the world was not designed for human happiness."

Well . . . that's certainly one point of vi
Patrick Gibson
This is my second volume of Hardey's poems. I picked it up because it contains a few not published previously. I love Hardey's novels and his poetry has the same Victorian wordiness. Never boring. Often full of subtext he was unable to overtly expose in his day.

"Between us now and here—
Two thrown together
Who are not wont to wear
Life’s flushest feather—

Who see the scenes slide past,
The daytimes dimming fast,
Let there be truth at last,
Even if despair.

So thoroughly and long
Have you now known me,
This is a good selection of Hardy's poetry, although it omits "The Choirmaster's Burial". His poems about his wife are very sad - clearly they were deeply in love at first, but then things changed, but it rather annoys me that he never seems to consider that he might have been in any way responsible. Hardy isn't my favourite poet, but "The Darkiling Thrush", "Wessex Heights" and "Drummer Hodge" will definitely stay in my memory.
Ana Sucuma
Some poems are fine indeed like Tenebris and Afterward but to most of them I cannot relate for I've never grieved, I've never lost. I do not deny them merrit nonetheless.
Ashley D--
Obviously you can find Hardy's poems in many places, but this book is nicely printed with good quality pages and a decent layout. I love that the collection starts with "Neutral Tones," the best bitter post-love poem I have ever read. Also includes "The Darkling Thrush," an apprehensive poem about the turning of the century, and the classic "Convergence of the Twain," about the Titanic. I've come to prefer Hardy's poems over his books because poems force him to confine his dark musings to a few ...more
Christopher J Flanagan
I came to love Hardy's poems through Philip Larkin, who reckoned that he was his favourite poet. This book contains the most well known and lesser known poems and are a goodly collection to have by your bedside. They contain all the hallmarks of Hardy's prose, the tragedy that lurks beneath the commonplace of life, love lost, love regained, love in absence, yet they are immensely beautiful and uplifting at the same time. Very English in location, but universal in sentiment.
I got curious about Hardy's poetry after a discussion on Slate regarding the poem, The Darkling Thrush. Hardy's definitely a melancholic poet, most concerned with the darker, bleaker side of life, and writes beautiful poems in that manner. It's been too long since I last read a poet who uses established meter and rhyme, let alone a poet who employs them so well. There's much to ponder over in reading Hardy's work and I found this book to be a good introduction.
Christopher Boerdam
Thomas Hardy was a prolific poet, and wading through his collected works would take a lot of time and dedication. Paulin's selection is a perfect introduction to Hardy's work, and I am grateful to have someone do all the hard work for me. Paulin has kept the Hardy favourites, but also included some amazing poems I have never encountered before. I would be surprised if anyone finished this selection without having formed the conviction that Hardy was a master of his craft.
Erika RS
Oh how I love Thomas Hardy's writing! I just finished reading Selected Poems, a book I had picked up at a little museum in Dorsetshire during a trip for the class I took on Dickens and Hardy. I had read some of the poems before, but never all through. Hardy does an excellent job of describing various aspects of life. He manages to do this in a rhythm I understand, something not all poetry does.
Mona Desai
Hardy is better known for his novels, but quickly became my favorite poet upon my first exposure to him in this compilation in a class my freshman year at Pomona. Soem poems touch upon a personal level, others just reach me for some inexplicable reason, and all are beautifully written. Hardy more than any poet has influenced my writing, and this compilation is a great introduction to his work.
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.
Aug 03, 2007 Ambar rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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.
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.
Kat Morrison
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.
I read this collection in college and have kept it all these years. I really prefer Hardy's poetry to his prose. The story goes that he was a poet who wrote novels to make money to pay for his wife's mental illness, etc. The poetry is lovely, written in the latter part of his life, and mostly about his then-deceased wife.
Excellent selection of Hardy's work. Balancing both the dark and the light sides of the emotions. Hardy cuts deep in an way that makes it hard to put down, it draws you in and touches you with a chilling sadness and depth of emotion. Classic Hardy. Love this book. Hate this book. It depresses and inspires me.
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  • The Complete Poems
  • Selected Poems
  • The Collected Poems
  • Selected Poems
  • Selected Poems
  • Selected Poems (Dover Thrift Editions)
  • Poems and Prose
  • The Complete Poems
  • Poems and Songs
  • The Complete Poems
  • The Works of John Donne (Poetry Library)
  • Selected Poetry
  • The Works of William Wordsworth (Wordsworth Collection)
  • Selected Poetry
  • The Complete Poems
  • The Temple: The Poetry of George Herbert
  • Thomas Hardy
  • The Complete Poems
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 facination 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 char ...more
More about Thomas Hardy...
Tess of the D'Urbervilles Far from the Madding Crowd  Jude the Obscure The Mayor of Casterbridge The Return of the Native

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“The smile on your mouth was the deadest thing alive enough to have strength to die. (from "Neutral Tones")” 10 likes
“I leant upon a coppice gate
When Frost was spectre-gray,
And Winter's dregs made desolate
The weakening eye of day.
The tangled bine-stems scored the sky
Like strings of broken lyres,
And all mankind that haunted nigh
Had sought their household fires.

The land's sharp features seemed to be
The Century's corpse outleant,
His crypt the cloudy canopy,
The wind his death-lament.
The ancient pulse of germ and birth
Was shrunken hard and dry,
And every spirit upon earth
Seemed fervourless as I.”
More quotes…