💫 Summary
This video provides an explanation of the poem "The Darkling Thrush" by Thomas Hardy, discussing the themes of pessimism, loneliness, and the bleakness of winter. The first stanza sets a desolate scene, while the second stanza highlights the decay of the 19th century and the lack of vitality.
✨ Highlights📊 Transcript
This section introduces the poem "The Darkling Thrush" by Thomas Hardy and provides background information.
The poem is complex and will be discussed in two parts.
It was originally titled "The Centuries End" and was published in 1900.
The poem is set in December and has a pessimistic and lonely tone.
The first two stanzas leave the reader with a sense of hopelessness, while the third stanza introduces a singing thrush bringing hope.
The second stanza of the poem emphasizes words starting with the letter "c" and gives a particular tonality to the poem.
The poem gives the impression of the poet being a pessimist, but there are different interpretations of Thomas Hardy's mindset.
The first stanza describes the speaker leaning on a gate and the desolate winter landscape.
The speaker observes the sky and mentions how people have sought warmth in their household fires.
The poet Thomas Hardy paints a bleak and somber picture of the winter landscape, symbolizing death and decay.
The spectral gray represents the harshness of the season and symbolizes death and decay.
The poet personifies winter and frost to convey a heavy and desolate atmosphere.
The mood of the poem is extremely lonely and filled with silence.
The first stanza of the poem describes the lack of life, music, and happiness, as well as the lack of reaction and energy from the people.
The lack of life, music, and happiness is emphasized through the reference to broken strings.
The people's lack of reaction and indifference to their surroundings indicates a lack of energy and dynamism.
The word "haunted" used to describe mankind conveys something negative and eerie.
The mention of "household fires" conveys an inward-looking and selfish mood.
Thomas Hardy's poem "The Darkling Thrush" conveys extreme sadness, loneliness, and a lack of optimism for the future.
The poet's mood is not vibrant and he seems pessimistic.
The broken liars in the first stanza suggest the failure of the 19th-century culture.
The cycle of birth and death has ended, indicating a cultural death and decay.
Thomas Hardy does not see any hope of a rebirth.
00:00hello and welcome to study visudee this
00:02is your digital classroom my name is tia
00:04sudhir we are going to be studying the
00:06dark link thrust written by poet and
00:09thomas hardy this is a very complex poem
00:13so let me say that right at the outside
00:15which is why we are going to be doing it
00:16in two parts
00:18the first two stanzas in part one and
00:20the third and the four stanza and the
00:23thematic analysis of the poem in this
00:25second part
00:27please keep a notebook and pen with you
00:29so that you can take down notes
00:30understand the poem first and then take
00:32down notes so you may need to go through
00:34video a couple of times in order to
00:36understand the
00:37poem as i said it's complex not
00:40but complex which is a stage higher than
00:42complicated now
00:44just to tell you a bit about the poem
00:45this poem was originally called
00:47the centuries end 1900 that was the
00:51original title
00:52of this poem and was first printed on
00:54the 29th of december
00:571900 okay now
01:00and that was published in a publication
01:02called the graphic
01:03however later a 1899 manuscript of the
01:07same poem was also found which basically
01:09suggested that this poem was written by
01:11thomas hardy
01:12actually at the turn of the century in
01:141899 but subsequently published only in
01:19now what is this poem all about it's
01:22called the darkling thrush
01:24the thrush is the name of a bird and
01:27it is written in december as i said and
01:30or it is published in december
01:31and that weather element clearly
01:34reflects itself
01:35in the poem and it's actually a very
01:37strong presence
01:39the poem is also pessimistic in fact
01:41many people also refer to thomas hardy
01:44as very pessimistic at heart and it
01:46talks of a very very lonely and
01:48very desolate kind of scenario it's not
01:50a poem which will kind of uplift you
01:52at least in the first two stanzas it
01:54leaves you with a very brooding kind of
01:57a mindset right a lack of hope
02:00hopelessness in that sense
02:01so and in the third stanza is when the
02:05bird the thrush
02:07enters the scene singing a song a
02:10beautiful song which is actually full of
02:12more than the beauty of the song the
02:13beauty of the song lies in the fact that
02:15it is singing
02:16of hope and at that point the poet
02:19actually wonders
02:20what it actually is trying to convey
02:22what its
02:23larger meaning is and as we go to the
02:27fourth stanza we realize that the bird
02:28is a symbol of the hopes that a
02:30new century the the birth of a new
02:33century that is a 20th century
02:35actually suggests and indicates right
02:38so we'll study in the first two stanzas
02:41about what is the really the meaning of
02:43all the metaphors and the similes and
02:45the words
02:46and rather complicated words used by
02:48thomas sadi in the first two stanzas
02:50convey what are they trying to convey
02:53i was going through an article written
02:55in the guardian newspaper of the uk
02:57and it described this particular poem as
03:00one of thomas hardy's
03:02most lyrical poems which is musical in
03:06metaphor theme and title okay that's how
03:09the guardian newspaper
03:11described this particular poem the
03:13darkling refers to
03:14the darkness essentially in the dark and
03:17there is also
03:18if you go through the poem i will of
03:19course touch upon it
03:21but it's also very interesting in the
03:23manner in which is use certain
03:24alphabets to emphasize which i found as
03:27a reader
03:28very very interesting for instance in
03:30the second stanza you will find
03:32several words actually starting with the
03:33letter c
03:35so when there is an emphasis on a
03:36particular alphabet it kind of gives it
03:39a particular kind of a thrust century
03:42crypt cloud canopy you know so
03:46corpse you know those are all different
03:48words which are all starting with c
03:51and have a particular kind of a tonality
03:54to it okay also the poem gives the
03:57impression as i said
03:58that he's a pessimist but there is also
04:01a belief and i have been going through a
04:02lot of
04:03critical analysis of this poem in order
04:05to be able to understand it and explain
04:07it better
04:08so that you get a more quality kind of
04:10an analysis and interpretation
04:12many people believe that the thrush may
04:14actually be also a reference to
04:15thomas hardy himself that he may not be
04:17so much of a pessimist so there is a
04:19kind of different schools of thought on
04:21how they interpret thomas hardy himself
04:23in fact thomas hardy's
04:24the mayor of castro bridge was part of
04:26our first year in college when i was
04:28doing english literature in
04:29delhi university so you know familiar
04:32with thomas hardy's
04:34works so let's start with the first
04:36stanza as i said
04:37listen to this carefully because there
04:39are a lot of new words words you would
04:41have never heard
04:42in your life before it says i lint up
04:45i lent upon a corpus gate
04:48okay lent as in it's kind of coming from
04:50the word leaning you know you're leaning
04:52and when you are leaning
04:54it kind of suggests you kind of when you
04:56lean you are actually moving your body
04:58forward so it suggests a certain kind of
05:01a posture
05:02and also body language when frost was
05:05specter gray
05:06and winter's drugs may desolate the
05:08weakening eye of day
05:10the tangled bind stem scored the sky
05:13like strings of broken liars
05:15and all mankind that haunted nye had
05:19their household fires now basically what
05:22he's saying the simple meaning
05:23let's go to the simple uh meaning of
05:26these particular lines
05:27he's saying that i was leaning upon a
05:29gate which is basically
05:31a path which is leading into a forest
05:35the frost which is referring to in the
05:37second sentence of the first
05:39stanza frost was gray in color and we
05:43will come to a detailed analysis of this
05:45word frost what it conveys
05:47in just a bit its color was gray
05:50right and winter's dregs now
05:54the winter day made the sun look
05:57very very dull the sun is usually
05:59associated with a lot of energy
06:02positivity but here it was looking dull
06:06of the effect of the frost and the
06:10effect of the winter season
06:13okay uh spectre tray is also looking
06:16almost gray as a ghost
06:20the the winter day was making the sun
06:23look very very dull
06:24and bleak the tangled bind stems coat
06:27the sky is basically a reference to the
06:29tangled stems of this climbing plants
06:32the creepers right
06:33which climb on any building or any wall
06:35or any other tree etc
06:37so they had actually the leaves were not
06:40there so it was only the stems which are
06:42and they resembled the strings
06:46of a broken musical instrument the
06:48broken instrument is the liar
06:50again which is something important and
06:52we'll come to that in a bit
06:53and all the people all mankind that
06:56haunted nigh
06:57all the people who lived in the
07:00that all gone back home to the warmth of
07:03their homes where a
07:04fire was let the household fires so
07:07that's the
07:08basic very elementary understanding
07:11of the first stanza now let's look at
07:13the specific words as to what the words
07:15mean and i would request you to
07:17note it down corpus gate corpus is
07:21it a grove you know of small trees or
07:25okay something similar i mean not
07:27exactly the same you would see in public
07:29gardens and public lawns etc
07:31where the the gardener would kind of
07:33trim the
07:34shrubs in such a way that they almost
07:36form a thicket
07:37of sorts right almost to convey
07:40a passage uh in the garden so
07:44um it is this is basically maintained by
07:46periodic cutting or pruning i'm sure
07:48you'd get the meaning now
07:50so it's basically a kind of a mini
07:53which the gardeners or the foresters
07:55regularly cut back
07:56in order to stimulate the growth so
07:59once they are pruned it will actually
08:01stimulate the growth process
08:03of these shrubs right so that is the
08:06reference to the
08:06coppice gate and he's leaning upon it
08:10is the remnants essential meaning is
08:12that it's the remnants of a liquid when
08:14you're drinking and there is something
08:16left at the bottom that's
08:17left that is referred to as drugs
08:20right it's left in any container
08:22together with any kind of
08:24sedimentary material but here it is
08:26associated he has very cleverly and very
08:28smartly and very intelligently used it
08:31winter that is it's a dis month of
08:33december when the winter is there at its
08:35peak but it's kind of also
08:37it's the end of the winter in terms of
08:39the calendar year
08:40also because it is talking about the end
08:43of the century
08:44it's also kind of conveying that it is
08:46the end of an
08:48entire era entire 19th century
08:51then we come to the word liar that i
08:54mentioned to you
08:55it's a stringed instrument like a small
08:58u-shaped harp
08:59with strings fixed to a crossbar used
09:02especially in
09:02ancient greek mythology and the liar is
09:06the instrument that is associated with
09:08apollo who is the greek god of music so
09:10if you just
09:11google and see the figure of apollo you
09:14would find that he's holding an
09:16and that is referred to as the liar it
09:19was given to him by hermes
09:20who was the messenger of the gods there
09:22is a separate story about that in
09:24about which we don't need to know uh as
09:27far as
09:27this particular poem is concerned nai
09:30essentially means
09:31nearby near spectre is a ghostly
09:34appearing figure symbolic of something
09:37eerie frightening scary and close to
09:40okay that's why the ghost now we spoke
09:43about frost
09:44now what is basically frost now frost is
09:46a form of ice
09:47you know of frost free refrigerators
09:49right so
09:51in the old time refrigerators you would
09:52have the frost kind of
09:55getting formed inside the refrigerator
09:56and you need to keep on
09:58defrosting it now you get frost free
10:00refrigerators those kind of ice
10:02does not get formed inside the
10:04refrigerator so the frost is a kind of
10:06that is formed in cold weather and it is
10:08not considered good for
10:10vegetation for the plant life because
10:12when it falls on the shrubs
10:15or which are plants of low height not on
10:17the trees but on
10:18plants of low height it damages both the
10:20stem as well as the leaves
10:22and many quite often even kills them
10:26now when the speaker is talking about
10:28the spectre grey what what is he trying
10:30to say
10:31frost that basically is kind of
10:34denoting the winter weather and the
10:37winter landscape
10:38he is basically talking about the
10:40harshness of the season of the weather
10:42in the month of december and in that
10:44sense the spectral gray is symbolic
10:47of death of decay okay
10:50and in that sense he's talking about the
10:52death of the plants he's also talking
10:53about the death of the year he's also
10:55talking about the death of the
10:57century itself right so many many
11:00connotations as a result of being
11:03by that single those two words so what
11:06is the
11:06poet thomas hardy essentially saying in
11:08the first answer
11:10the poet is basically painting a rather
11:14bleak and a very somber picture of the
11:16world s o m b
11:17r e and whatever words i use i would
11:20strongly urge you to make notes and be
11:24able to use these words even in your
11:26they would elevate the quality of your
11:30the mood is extremely lonely right
11:34it's one of silence in fact when you
11:36read it itself and just
11:37imagine yourself with eyes closed you
11:40will be transported into that kind
11:42of a world that's the power of thomas
11:45language and vocabulary and in that
11:47sense he kind of denotes and signifies a
11:49very very heavy kind of an atmosphere
11:52almost basically to convey utter sadness
11:55and a moment of being very very desolate
11:58the speaker uses the word lent
12:00which is a body posture as i said
12:02suggestive of simply watching
12:04what is happening around him now in his
12:06loneliness what he has done is he has
12:08used the
12:09poetic device of personification and
12:12what has he personified
12:13he has personified winter by using the
12:16word drex with it
12:17he has also personified frost okay
12:21and also note it's uh i mean i found it
12:24fascinating that he has used normally
12:26frost is something
12:27it's not uh it's not denoting to a
12:29person but he has used
12:31this he has used capital letters for
12:33frost not
12:34a small case which is another way of
12:36conveying that he's trying to personify
12:39frost now frost is described as spectra
12:42or ghost like gray and the winter's
12:46are in the form of fallen snow you know
12:48the they are the remnants of the winter
12:50which is why the word drex has been used
12:53and they add to the feeling of
12:55loneliness because of the extreme
12:57chill that they bring about the extreme
12:59also the effect of
13:01the winter is associated with what with
13:03mist with heavy
13:04fog etc and they all add to the feeling
13:08of being very very lonely
13:11devoid of any chair extremely bleak
13:14and dull right then we come to the
13:17tangled bind stems what we refer to as
13:19the creepers that kind of creep
13:21uh upon a wall a building a tree
13:25they are the ones which use in a
13:27symbiotic relationship at least they
13:29make use of the other
13:31structure in order to climb right
13:34they are dead so what you have now is
13:37only their stems
13:39and they are tangled and intermingled
13:42which is why they look like the strings
13:44of broken layers
13:45and that is not particularly a very very
13:48pretty side because
13:49it's a leaves which give life to a
13:52plant in this case a creeper right so
13:55what hardy wants to convey through this
13:57is that there is both lack of life there
14:00is also lack of
14:02music the reference to the broken
14:05strings please mark this point
14:06this is very important so because there
14:08is lack of life there is lack of music
14:10there is lack of happiness and joy right
14:13this is important this is an important
14:15and what is the reaction of the people
14:17in the last two sentences of the first
14:19the reaction of the people is that they
14:21don't seem to be bothered
14:22they don't seem to be bothered about
14:24what is happening around them
14:26so in that sense there is also a lack of
14:29energy a lack of dynamism
14:31in that mankind out there the word used
14:34mankind is the word haunted right
14:38again the word haunted conveys something
14:42it conveys something eerie right and
14:45because that's not really the way to
14:47live life you know you
14:48if you say oh he lived a haunted life
14:50it's not really
14:51you're not conveying something very very
14:53positive right
14:55they are going back home and taking care
14:57of their own household fires now
14:59the word fire is important because the
15:01fire just like the sun
15:03is normally associated again with a lot
15:05of energy and positivity
15:07but here it kind of conveys a very
15:09inward looking
15:10and almost a very selfish kind of a
15:13mood of this mankind okay
15:17they are not it does not convey energy
15:19and dynamism at least that's not the way
15:21thomas hardy is trying to use it in this
15:23particular stanza so
15:24just to recap the first stanza it begins
15:27with the speaker leaning against a
15:29corpus gate
15:30at the drex which means at the end of
15:32the winter season
15:33of the winter day or in the sense also
15:35the end of the century
15:37and for the speaker the landscape is
15:40desolate and it kind of leads to a sense
15:43of sadness
15:44to a sense of despair right
15:49it's also normally december december 25
15:52is also associated with the christmas
15:53chair but here he is not talking about
15:55any kind of cheer right he is talking
15:57about an atmosphere a mode of
16:00absolute desolation right and because
16:04the year is ending the century is ending
16:06it is also kind of
16:07talking about in a sense conveying death
16:10decay at the end of the year
16:14the sun is also weakening again another
16:17sign of
16:18lack of hope and any kind of positivity
16:21positivity so in that sense there is no
16:23looking forward to any kind of renewal
16:25of life of any kind
16:27then there is also the comparison as i
16:29said between the tangled bind stems and
16:31the string
16:32of the broken lies i hope that is clear
16:34the liar
16:35basically conveying music and poetry and
16:37music and poetry just like the sun
16:39and the fire are another symbol of
16:41something which is
16:42a little illuminating enlightening a
16:44kind of
16:45um it kind of conveys an energy
16:49a joy in the civilization but because
16:52they are
16:52broken liars it conveys absolutely
16:56the opposite basically to say that this
16:59in this case many critics have also
17:01referred to it as thomas hardy's
17:03commentary on the decay of the western
17:06and broken layers is what is really
17:08referring to that
17:09that he wants to convey that it needs
17:13care it needs attention
17:14and it needs some kind of repair because
17:17it has fallen into a sense of
17:18disrepair so that is as far as the first
17:21stanza is concerned i hope
17:22this detailed explanation has kind of
17:25enlightened you about what thomas hardy
17:27wants to say let's now come to the
17:30second stanza now the land's sharp
17:33features seem to be the centuries cops
17:35outlined his crypt the canopy
17:38cloudy canopy the wind its death lament
17:42the ancient pearls of germ and birth was
17:46hard and dry and every spirit upon earth
17:50seemed fervourless as i ferver-less
17:54fervor is again a word be associated
17:57with a lot of energy
17:58but he's saying fervorless again to say
18:02is the kind of mood that i am in at this
18:05point in time
18:06again let's start with the first
18:08sentence of the second stanza
18:10sharp features sharp features in this
18:12case he's talking about
18:14land's sharp features so what are the
18:16land sharp features
18:17they're mountains their hills their
18:19cliffs basically anything which have
18:21very very sharp kind of
18:23edges right the hill peaks
18:26and they are likened by thomas hardy in
18:28this stanza
18:29to the corpse of the 19th century the
18:34corpse outlined as if the dead body
18:37is kind of leaning out right and
18:40also note that the in the first answer
18:43also there was a reference to lead right
18:45in the first sentence
18:46here it's outlined so frost conveyed
18:49death in the first stanza but here it's
18:52a much
18:53more of a direct reference when is using
18:55a very
18:56strong word a very powerful word like
18:59right the clouds are forming a canopy
19:03third sentence of the second stanza
19:05which is canopies what canopy is a
19:08roof of sorts you know it's providing
19:10shelter over your head
19:11but in this case it's almost like a
19:14burial place
19:15like a tomb of sorts because script if
19:18you know the meaning of the word
19:20meaning of the word crypt crypt is an
19:23underground room
19:24or vault beneath a church and it is used
19:27as a
19:28burial place so the wind it says the
19:31wind its
19:32death lamin so the wind is playing a
19:34very very sad
19:36song lamenting over the passing away
19:39basically lamenting over the
19:40demise then hardy says that the age old
19:44desire to reproduce to procreate and
19:48the next generation into the world also
19:50has shrunk
19:51the ancient pearls of germ and birth was
19:55shrunken hard and dry
19:56very very strong language so he's saying
19:58that the age-old desire to procreate and
20:00bring the next generation into this
20:02also is no longer existing and
20:06every person on earth seems to be as
20:09as fervourless as i am
20:13now let's go into a detailed explanation
20:16of this one
20:16the poet is basically talking about the
20:20corpse because as i said it's the end of
20:2319th century and therefore the century
20:26in this case
20:27just like winter and frost in the first
20:31here the century has been personified as
20:34a dead body
20:35as a corpse also this again takes
20:38forward the
20:40theme of the rough and very harsh winter
20:43right and that is only kind of
20:45underlining and emphasizing the death
20:48much more and everything around even the
20:51wind for that matter even the cold wind
20:54is becoming almost like a song of death
20:56as though it's kind of whispering
20:58and singing about death and decay
21:02and demise in the in the year and that's
21:05again which kind of conveys
21:06a mode of loneliness extreme sadness and
21:10brooding and life also
21:13in that sense uh is no longer in a
21:16vibrant kind of a
21:18mood and the poet does not seem very
21:20optimistic which is why i said right at
21:22the beginning of this video
21:23that many people see this as a very
21:25pessimistic face
21:27of thomas hardy that he does not see any
21:29kind of optimism he does not see any
21:31kind of future
21:32for the world at the end of the 19th
21:34century right
21:36so fervorless basically conveying the
21:38meaning of depressed
21:39and lacking in any kind of interest the
21:43is dead of course in a literal sense
21:45because it's the end of the century
21:46but when you read this second stanza in
21:49connection with the first
21:50answer you realize that the broken liars
21:53that he had spoken about which to my
21:54mind are the most
21:55important two words in the first answer
21:58also suggests something very very deep
22:01that the culture of the 19th century has
22:04failed in thomas hardy's opinion okay
22:08he does not go into any kind of
22:10reasoning as to why he thinks the
22:11century has
22:12failed and many critics have said that
22:14it could be because of rampant
22:16industrialization because of which he
22:18that the rural landscape of europe and
22:21britain have also changed dramatically
22:24very drastically
22:25because of that but what is what is more
22:28important is what hardy says in words
22:31that the cycle of birth and death
22:34the ancient pearls of germ and birth
22:38have also ended again this is extremely
22:42shrunken hard and dry very powerful
22:46so in that sense hardy probably wants to
22:48convey that it's also
22:50a very sharp cultural death and decay
22:54and from there thomas hardy does not
22:56seem to see
22:57any hope of a rebirth okay
23:01the use of the words and this is
23:03something which i found in one
23:04particular critical analysis and i
23:06thought it was quite an interesting
23:07point which i
23:08thought i'll include it here the words
23:11germ and birth are very important
23:13because they convey both plant life
23:15and animal and human life because
23:17germination pollination is how
23:19the plants kind of grow right
23:23birth animals and humans mammals
23:26give birth to a new being
23:30so he's kind of talking about both plant
23:34and animal life
23:35when he's talking about and lamenting
23:37about the end of the century
23:39the end of the year and talking about
23:41the harshness of the winter as a
23:43to convey what he wants to say so we
23:46will pause
23:47over here as far as this particular poem
23:48is concerned we will do
23:50the stanza third and fourth where there
23:52is an entry
23:53of the bird called the thrush and what
23:56change the bird actually stimulates in
24:00thomas hardy's own mental outlook is
24:02what makes this poem very fascinating so
24:04please join me
24:05in part two of this particular poem the
24:08dark link thrush by thomas aardi which
24:10is part of your
24:11isc class 12 english syllabus
24:14very fascinating as i said a very
24:16complex poem which you need to
24:18understand very well
24:19and be able to use many of the words
24:21that i've used in order to be able to
24:23explain and analyze whatever questions
24:26you get in the
24:27examination so i see you in part two of
24:30this poems analysis thank you very much
24:32for watching
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FAQs about This YouTube Video

1. What is the main theme of Thomas Hardy's poem 'The Darkling Thrush'?

The main themes of the poem 'The Darkling Thrush' by Thomas Hardy are pessimism, loneliness, and the bleakness of winter. The poem delves into the desolate scene, decay of the 19th century, and lack of vitality, highlighting the overall sense of despair.

2. How does the first stanza of the poem 'The Darkling Thrush' set the scene?

The first stanza of the poem 'The Darkling Thrush' by Thomas Hardy sets a desolate scene, portraying the bleakness and desolation of the winter landscape. It creates a sense of pessimism and loneliness, capturing the overall mood of the poem.

3. What are the key themes addressed in the second stanza of 'The Darkling Thrush' by Thomas Hardy?

The second stanza of 'The Darkling Thrush' by Thomas Hardy highlights the decay of the 19th century and the lack of vitality. It addresses the bleakness of the landscape and the absence of hope, further emphasizing the themes of pessimism and despair.

4. How does Thomas Hardy explore the theme of loneliness in the poem 'The Darkling Thrush'?

In the poem 'The Darkling Thrush', Thomas Hardy explores the theme of loneliness by depicting a desolate winter landscape and the absence of life. The sense of isolation and the lack of vitality contribute to the overall feeling of loneliness and despair.

5. What is the significance of the bleak winter landscape in Thomas Hardy's poem 'The Darkling Thrush'?

The bleak winter landscape in Thomas Hardy's poem 'The Darkling Thrush' serves as a symbol of pessimism and despair. It symbolizes the harshness of the environment and mirrors the bleak outlook portrayed in the poem, adding to the overall sense of desolation.

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