The Voice Thomas Hardy Analysis

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The Voice is made up of 4 4-line stanzas (quatrains) with an alternate rhyme (ABAB CDCD EFEF GHGH). Hardy also makes use of a triple rhyme in the first stanza with “call to me” and “all to me”.
This poem is written in dactylic tetrameter. This means that it is made up of four feet of one stressed syllable followed by two unstressed syllables. This is different from the meter that Hardy usually uses (and is also a rare meter in general), perhaps to show how confused or unsure Hardy is about whether the sound he’s hearing is the voice of Emma or just the wind.
It should be noted that this poem was written after Hardy’s wife, Emma had died. The two had also had a very strained relationship before she had died such as not talking to one another
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He then wants to be able to see or “view” this woman but he wants to see a past version of this woman, one who existed “then”. He specifically wants to see her standing near the town where she would wait for him wearing a blue dress. This also shows that Hardy is missing a woman that he used to know, the one that used to be “all to him” as he seems to recalling a memory of a past time. He describes this woman to be in an “air-blue gown”, this is interesting as air could possibly be linked to the sky (and therefore heaven and death) and it can also be linked to the wind/breeze which makes numerous appearances in the next two stanzas.
Stanza 3
In this stanza we see more of Hardy’s doubt as he continues to wonder if it is this woman that he is hearing or that is calling to him or if it “is only the breeze” that is calling to him. There is the presence of a lot of sibilance (a repeated s sound) in this stanza with words such as “listlessness” “dissolved” and “wistlessness”. This repeated s sound could perhaps lend to the idea of the breeze as the s could sound like noises that the wind might make. The woman appears to be dissolving into nothing and Hardy wonders if he will never hear from this woman ever again.
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