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The Darkling Thrush Summary
Thomas Hardy

Everything you need to understand or teach The Darkling Thrush by Thomas Hardy.

  • The Darkling Thrush Summary & Study Guide

The Darkling Thrush Summary

Introduction

Thomas Hardy's gloomy poem about the turn of the twentieth century, "The Darkling Thrush," remains one of his most popular and anthologized lyrics. Written on the eve of the new century and first published in Graphic with the subtitle "By the Century's Deathbed" and then published in London Times on New Year's Day, 1901, the thirty-twoline poem uses a bleak and wintry landscape as a metaphor for the close of the nineteenth century and the joyful song of a solitary thrush as a symbolic image of the dawning century. Like much of Hardy's writing, "The Darkling Thrush" embodies the writer's despair and pessimism. This is partially offset, however, by the artfulness of the poem itself. Hardy was sixty years old when he penned the lyric, far past the life expectancy for a man of his time. A few years earlier he had stopped writing novels, after critics panned Jude the...

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The Darkling Thrush Study Guide

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