Manik Sukoco's Reviews > Wessex Poems
Manik Sukoco's review
Dec 24, 2015
Many reviewers were put off when Thomas Hardy published this, his first collection of poetry, late in 1898 and after swearing off fiction. If "Tess of the D'Urbervilles" and "Jude the Obscure" offended them, "Wessex Poems" confused them - its style and diction seemed clumsy, and its themes did nothing to reassure them. And yet it includes a handful of the poems now acknowledged as among Hardy's best - including "Hap," which begins "If but some vengeful god"-- and announced the beginning of what would turn out to be one of the greatest careers in poetry in the twentieth century. Powerful novelists are rarely powerful poets, but Hardy once again showed himself not to be limited by the constraints and considerations of "smaller" minds.
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December 24, 2015 – Shelved