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If memory serves, he originally gave up poetry writing for ficition also because of criticism. I never read his poems, but I do like the fiction.

Posted by GDC | December 4, 2006 5:38 PM

I can't help but feel somewhat responsible.

Posted by Jude Fawley | December 4, 2006 8:46 PM

My favorite thos hardy poem:

Tree-leaves labour up and down,
And through them the fainting light
Succumbs to the crawl of night.
Outside in the road the telegraph wire
To the town from the darkening land
Intones to travelers like a psectral lyre
Swept by a spectral hand.

A car comes up, with lamps full-glare,
That flashes upon a tree:
It has nothing to do with me,
And whangs along in a world of it's own,
Leaving a blacker air;
And mute by the gate I stand again alone,
And nobody pulls up there.

Posted by Charles | December 4, 2006 11:19 PM

This lighthearted little number is my favorite:

Neutral Tones

We stood by a pond that winter day,
And the sun was white, as though chidden of God,
And a few leaves lay on the starving sod,
--They had fallen from an ash, and were gray.

Your eyes on me were as eyes that rove
Over tedious riddles solved years ago;
And some words played between us to and fro--
On which lost the more by our love.

The smile on your mouth was the deadest thing
Alive enough to have strength to die;
And a grin of bitterness swept thereby
Like an ominous bird a-wing....

Since then, keen lessons that love deceives,
And wrings with wrong, have shaped to me
Your face, and the God-curst sun, and a tree,
And a pond edged with grayish leaves.

Posted by Maud | December 5, 2006 9:20 AM

oh man: Your eyes on me were as eyes that rove / Over tedious riddles solved years ago;

That's really tasty.

Posted by charles | December 5, 2006 10:01 AM

Wow - editions of his poems all say that he gave up fiction when he´d made enough money to devote himself to his real love, of poetry. And while the poetry is pretty sweet, (one of the few expensive English books I´ve bought in Mexico) it is an acquired and difficult taste, while the novels are just about the truest things ever. Just thinking about Jude the Obscure ten years on still knocks me out.

Posted by Grant Cogswell | December 5, 2006 12:15 PM

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