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Thomas Hardy - Selected Poems

Read by Martin Jarvis
Duration 71 minutes
Released 20 June 2012
Format Unabridged MP3 Download

 

 

'I yield to none in my admiration of Hardy' - Stephen Fry, The Ode Less Travelled

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Thomas Hardy (1840–1928) was an English novelist and poet. Although he wrote poetry throughout his career – and regarded his poems as far superior to his novels – it was the adverse critical reaction to Jude the Obscure (1895), which propelled Hardy into abandoning fiction altogether and devoting his remaining decades to verse. An admirer of the naturalism of William Wordsworth and Robert Browning, Hardy amassed a collection of over 900 poems of astonishing variety and individuality. 

The poems in this collection display Hardy's characteristic interplay between life and fate. Sometimes bleak, sometimes darkly humorous, sometimes painfully personal, each poem pits the intensity of human existence – our loves, our hatreds, our desires, our disappointments – against the indifference of the natural world. Whether set on the battlefield or the cornfield, Hardy's poems are suffused by an unsentimental melancholy and a quiet hope.

 

 


INCLUDES THE FOLLOWING POEMS

Afterwards
At an Inn
At Castle Boterel
Beeny Cliff
Cannel Firing
A Christmas Ghost Story
The Colonel's Soliloquy (Southampton Docks: October, 1899)
The Convergence of the Twain
The Darkling Thrush
The Dead Man Walking
Drummer Hodge
Embarcation (Southampton Docks: October, 1899)
The Going
The Haunter
The House of Hospitalities
In Time of 'The Breaking of Nations'
The Man He Killed
Men Who March Away
Neutral Tones
Overlooking the River Stour
The Oxen
The Phantom Horsewoman
The Self-Unseeing
Under the Waterfall
The Voice
A Wife in London
Your Last Drive

BONUS MATERIAL
G.K. Chesterton of Thomas Hardy
(an extract from G.K. Chesterton's Autobiography, read by Barnaby Edwards))

Thomas Hardy's 'Apology'
(Hardy's complete essay from Late Lyrics and Earlier (1922), read by Barnaby Edwards)

The Song of the Darkling Thrush
(a music suite by Howard Carter)

 

 


CREDITS

Recorded on 28 April 2010
Directed by Rosalind Ayres
Music and sound design by Howard Carter
Recorded at The Invisible Studios by Mark Holden
Artwork by Simon Holub

 


 

ENGLISH STUDENTS
TBA

 


FURTHER READING
Works by Thomas Hardy:
TBA

Studies of Thomas Hardy:
TBA

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