Thoroughfares of Stones’: Hardy’s ‘Other’ Love Poetry

  • Trevor Johnson


All lovers of Hardy owe the late Professor Carl Weber a sizeable debt — his best memorial is the splendid Colby College Hardy collection — but, by one of life’s little posthumous ironies, the last of his many books has, I fear, done his hero a grave disservice. His Hardy’s Love Poems, published in 1963 and often reprinted, though it does, as he says, contain ‘some of the finest … love poems in English’ has a most misleading title. For its contents are rigidly restricted to poems about Emma Hardy, rearranged to make a quasi-narrative by Weber; and the ingenious or ingenuous blurb-writer for the very recent paperback makes matters worse by saying ‘this unique collection brings together all Hardy’s love poetry’. If that were so we should have the remarkable spectacle of a poet’s not only confining his amatory verse to his wife but also waiting until after her death and his attainment of the age of seventy-two before embarking on it, which would surely take self-abnegation beyond belief.


Late Lyric English Poetry Neutral Tone Break Appointment Love Poem 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 3.
    T. Paulin, Thomas Hardy: The Poetry of Perception (1975); D. Taylor, Hardy’s Poetry 1860–1928 (1981).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 5.
    Philip Larkin, ‘The Poetry of Hardy’, in his Required Writing: Miscellaneous Pieces 1955–82 (1983).Google Scholar
  3. 7.
    F. E. Hardy, The Life of Thomas Hardy 1840–1928 (1962) p. 292. Hereafter cited as Life.Google Scholar
  4. 10.
    D. Taylor, Hardy’s Metres and Victorian Prosody (1988) p. 56.Google Scholar
  5. 19.
    M. Millgate, Thomas Hardy: A Biography (1982) pp. 85–6.Google Scholar
  6. 20.
    George Meredith, Modern Love, 1st edn 1862 (not reissued until 1892).Google Scholar
  7. 25.
    E. Barrett Browning, Sonnets from the Portuguese (1850) Sonnet 23.Google Scholar
  8. 26.
    John Clare, Child Harold, Canto I (unpublished in Clare’s lifetime).Google Scholar
  9. 35.
    M. Millgate, Thomas Hardy: A Biography (1982) p. 340.Google Scholar
  10. 36.
    D. Brown, Thomas Hardy (1954) p. 178.Google Scholar
  11. 40.
    D. Taylor, Hardy’s Metres and Victorian Prosody (1988) p. 173.Google Scholar
  12. 41.
    E. M. W. Tillyard and C. S. Lewis, The Personal Heresy: A Controversy (1939).Google Scholar
  13. 48.
    E. Felkin, ‘Days with Thomas Hardy’, Encounter, XVIII (April 1962) pp. 27–33.Google Scholar
  14. 52.
    L. Deacon and T. Coleman, Providence and Mr Hardy (1966) p. 83.Google Scholar
  15. 54.
    D. Taylor, Hardy’s Metres and Victorian Prosody (1988) pp. 207–66.Google Scholar
  16. 55.
    T. Johnson, A Critical Introduction to the Poems of Thomas Hardy (1991) pp. 197–3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Trevor Johnson 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Trevor Johnson

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations