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Rock Street, San Francisco

‘Afterwards,’ by Thomas Hardy, is a poem that questions the way that people will look upon the narrator after his death. It centre’s around the idea of ‘noticing things,’ showing the narrators precision and the ambivalence of his neighbours. Hardy gets this across by the techniques that he uses, and the detailed descriptions which show the full extent of what the narrator has noticed. The poem shows the complexity of nature, and describes the cycle of life. The first stanza begins by personifying the ‘Present,’ which is very appropriate as the poem is concerned by the aliveness of the surroundings that it is describing.

The reference to the back gate suggests closure, and is a very precise way of describing the end of the narrator’s life. This sense of closure is also demonstrated in the structure of the poem, which is self-contained in its alternate rhyming quatrains. It has a rhyming pattern of abab, which means that the poem is soft and pleasing to hear, reflects the quietness of nature and goes along with the idea of the man being gentle and ‘tremulous’. It is also pleasing to the eye as each stanza loosely mirrors the previous one.

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However the number of syllables varies in each line, which means the poem is not constrained by its structure. This is fitting to the content of the poem as there are references to birds, and flying which has the connotations of freedom. essaybank. co. uk wwcd cdw escdcds aycd cdba ncd kccd cduk. An example of this is, ‘And the May month flaps its glad green leaves like wings. ‘ This animal imagery is totally un-restrictive, as well as painting a very bright and vibrant picture of the season that he is describing.

The alliteration, combined with each line only having one syllable helps to achieve the bouncing, jolly effect. The line also shows enjambment from the first line that is a technique carried on throughout the poem, adding to the overall continuity. The month of May is also described as being ‘delicate-filmed as new spun silk. ‘ This simile gives a very precise description of the beauty of spring, comparing it to a shiny new fabric, and giving it an almost transparent quality. There are also the connotations of value and exquisiteness.

4pHnuLgdI Visit essaybank cc co cc uk cc for more cc Do not cc redistribute 4pHnuLgdI wwef efw esefefs ayef efba nef kcef efuk: The second stanza moves consecutively from daytime to dusk, using appropriate language to describe the time. Hardy is precise in describing the moment the hawk lands as like ‘an eyelids soundless blink. ‘ This has the combined effect of conveying both the visual swiftness of movement, and also the quietness of the moment. He manages to create an eerie tone by using the word ‘shades,’ which gives the impression that there are many shadows and it is not very easy to see.

The eerie tone is continued by the ‘wind-warped upland thorn,’ in which the plosive ‘R’ sound adds to the feeling of rustiness. It shows that the narrator does not only appreciate the bright beauty of the day time, but the more mystical quality of the evening, therefore noticing the full complexity of what nature has to offer. The idea of the day wearing on continues in the third stanza, where the first line foregrounds the rest of the stanza by stating; ‘If I pass during some ‘nocturnal blackness,’ which clearly sets the scene for night time.

This is carried on by the description of the hedgehog and the moths, which only venture out at night, which creates a mood of peace and tranquility. The idea that the hedgehog travels furtively suggests a sense of purpose, that the hedgehog has a sly, secret mission to complete, which will go unnoticed in the rest of the world. This seems symbolic for the narrator, who seems to be discretely observing everything. T wwdb dbw esdbdbs aydb dbba ndb kcdb dbuk. wwfg fgw esfgfgs ayfg fgba nfg kcfg fguk.

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