Guest poem sent in by Ashwin Menon
(Poem #1201) Hap
If but some vengeful god would call to me From up the sky, and laugh: "Thou suffering thing, Know that thy sorrow is my ecstasy, That thy loves loss is my hates profiting!" Then would I bear, and clench myself, and die, Steeled by the sense of ire unmerited; Half-eased, too, that a Powerfuller than I Had willed and meted me the tears I shed. But not so. How arrives it joy lies slain, And why unblooms the best hope ever sown? -- Crass Casualty obstructs the sun and rain, And dicing Time for gladness casts a moan ... These purblind Doomsters had as readily strown Blisses about my pilgrimage as pain.
This is my first submission to the Minstrels list; so far I've only read and enjoyed the submissions to the list, but the last poem by Stephen Crane (Poem #1200, "A Man Said to the Universe") reminded me immediately of Hardy's "Hap", which deals with a similar sentiment. Crane's Universe (or God) does not feel obligated to acknowledge man's existence. Hardy's God does the same, but perhaps much more brutally. Even if someone doesn't actually love you, you might appreciate contempt, or hatred even, but you can't bear to be ignored. This is a theme in many of Hardy's poems, and many might dismiss it as pessimism. But in my opinion, the recognition that there is no God to care either way about you should actually be a liberating experience, not only for you, but for God as well! - Ashwin