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Saturday, 21 January 2017

"Thomas Hardy" - Walter de la Mare (recorded reading)

A poem (read by the poet), after visiting Thomas Hardy in Dorchester, Dorset.

"When many years ago I went to stay for a day or two with Thomas Hardy he very kindly met me at the station and he explained with a smile that there were no taxis or anything to ride in because all the people had hired them to take them to a performance of his play in Dorchester, 'Tess of the D'Urbervilles'. So we walked and during our walk I heard a very odd, rather far-away mingling of birdsong which I couldn't think to place and I said, "Do you hear the birds?" and this poem is about that".

All Dorsetshire's larks for connivance of sweetness seemed trysting to greet
Him in whose song the bodings of ravens and nightingales meet...

"O Master," I cried in my heart, "lorn thy tidings, grievous thy song,
Yet thine, too, this solacing music, as we earth-folk stumble along."


Sadly -and strangely- there are no recordings of Thomas Hardy's voice (there are, for instance, wax cylinder recordings of Tennyson's voice).

“A man's silence is wonderful to listen to.”

Two poem animations:

Thomas Hardy, "He Never Expected Much"

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