Introduction & Interpretation of the Poem Weathers
“Weathers” is a moving lyrical poem written by Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), a well-known English novelist and poet. Hardy, who was born in Dorsetshire, England, studied architecture and worked in London and Dorset before embarking on a successful literary career. He expertly combines the exuberant brilliance of spring with the gloomy sorrow of winter in the UK in this powerful poem. He offers a clear picture of spring’s enticement, when rain falls on chestnut trees and nightingales sing, and winter’s desolation, with cold, damp weather, dry beech trees, and rooks seeking refuge, using evocative imagery. “Weathers” is a profound meditation on the dichotomies of life’s seasons, symbolically expressing the light and gloomy sides of human existence.
Thomas Hardy’s poem “Weathers” addresses the seasons’ contrasting beauty and hardness, emphasizing on the vivid imagery of spring’s vitality and winter’s desolation. Through the changing moods of nature, the poem metaphorically represents the dualities of human life.
In Hardy’s poem “Weathers,” students can do a careful reading to identify the literary methods employed to communicate the features of spring and winter. They can delve further into the poem’s subjects by analyzing the imagery, symbolism, and tone. Students can also relate the poem’s depiction of nature to their own seasonal experiences and express their thoughts through creative writing or debates.
About the Author
Author of “Weathers” Thomas Hardy was born on June 2, 1840, and passed away on January 11, 1928. Born in Dorsetshire, England, he was a celebrated author and poet in his native country. He first sought a career as an architect, spending ten years working in Dorset and London. He eventually gave up his job in architecture to pursue a career in writing, which launched his lucrative novelist career in 1870. Weather is a major element in Hardy’s creative works; he explores it in both his novels and poetry.
In terms of the poetry, “Weathers” is a gripping lyrical masterpiece. Hardy contemplates the different features of spring and winter in the United Kingdom in his poetry. He highlights the appeal and vibrancy of the spring season in the first stanza. He tells how the rain falls quickly on the chestnut trees and the nightingale’s singing fills the air. Spring draws people outside to enjoy the lovely weather, dressed to the nines and planning trips to various locations.
Hardy switches his attention in the second stanza to the gloomy, lethargic temperament of winter, with its chilly, damp, and rainy weather. As the beech trees wither, their leaves grow dry and brown, rustling in the wind, he depicts the cuckoo’s hatred for the weather. Winter brings a lot of rain, which causes water drops to adhere to the wooden horizontal field gates. Birds, such as rooks, seek shelter in their nests, avoiding the harsh environment. Hardy shares his dislike for the season owing to its severe cold and constant precipitation. The poem might be seen as a metaphor for the opposing aspects of human existence, reflecting both its brightness and gloom.
Glossary 0f the Poem
Here is a detailed glossary of the poem with words in alphabetical order, along with their phonemic transcription:
- Beethumble (v.) – /bɪˈthʌmbəl/ – Fall downward.
- Bills (v.) – /bɪlz/ – To poke with a beak.
- Chestnut (n.) – /ˈʧɛs.tnʌt/ – A large tree that produces nuts covered with spikes.
- Citizens (n.) – /ˈsɪtɪzənz/ – Inhabitants of a city or town.
- Cuckoo (n.) – /ˈkuːkuː/ – A bird known for its distinctive call.
- Drip (v.) – /drɪp/ – To fall in drops.
- Duns (adj.) – /dʌnz/ – A greyish-brown colour.
- Fly (v.) – /flaɪ/ – To move through the air with wings, often referring to birds.
- Gate-bars (n.) – /ɡeɪt bɑrz/ – Bars or wooden pieces on a gate.
- Hill-hid (adj.) – /hɪl-hɪd/ – Concealed or hidden by hills.
- Maids (n.) – /meɪdz/ – Young women or girls.
- Meadow (n.) – /ˈmɛd.oʊ/ – A piece of grassland.
- Nestling (n.) – /ˈnɛslɪŋ/ – Young birds.
- Ply (v.) – /plaɪ/ – To work diligently or steadily.
- Rest (n.) – /rɛst/ – A place to relax or take a break.
- Rooks (n.) – /rʊks/ – A type of bird.
- Shuns (v.) – /ʃʌnz/ – To avoid or reject.
- South (n.) – /saʊθ/ – A cardinal direction, the opposite of north.
- Spikes (n.) – /spaɪks/ – Sharp and pointed objects.
- Sprig-muslin (n.) – /sprɪɡ ˈmʌzlɪn/ – Fine transparent decorated cotton clothing.
- Throb (v.) – /θrɑb/ – To beat hard.
- Throe (n.) – /θroʊ/ – A sound caused by deadly pain.
- Tides (n.) – /taɪdz/ – The regular rise and fall of sea levels.
- Traveller’s (n.) – /ˈtrævələrz/ – Those who are traveling.
- West (n.) – /wɛst/ – A cardinal direction, the opposite of east.
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