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The Darkling Thrush by Thomas Hardy

Thomas Hardy

The Darkling Thrush by Thomas Hardy

Thomas Hardy (1840 -1928)

Thomas Hardy was an English poet and novelist. A Victorian realist, Hardy was influenced by poets from Romanticism such as William Wordsworth. Hardy’s poems were centred most notably around disappointments in love and life and were also bound up with preserving the natural world and rejecting industrialism. Whilst his poems did not receive such high acclaim as his novels at the time of their publication, he is now considered to be one of the most influential and important poets of his time and has been an important influence on contemporary poets such as Sir Andrew Motion.

His poem, ‘The Darkling Thrush’, featured here, contrasts the bleakness of an ever changing industrial landscape with the purity and innocence of nature, represented by the thrush. The bird notably symbolises a weak hope in a new world and therefore inspires ideas about our theme, New Worlds.

'The Darkling Thrush' by Thomas Hardy read by Lawrence Sail