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Middle-Age Enthusiasms -- Thomas Hardy

Guest poem submitted by Hita Adwanikar, as a follow-up
to last week's poem by Gwendolyn Brooks:
(Poem #1631) Middle-Age Enthusiasms
      To M. H.

 We passed where flag and flower
 Signalled a jocund throng;
 We said: "Go to, the hour
 Is apt!" - and joined the song;
 And, kindling, laughed at life and care,
 Although we knew no laugh lay there.

 We walked where shy birds stood
 Watching us, wonder-dumb;
 Their friendship met our mood;
 We cried: "We'll often come:
 We'll come morn, noon, eve, everywhen!"
 - We doubted we should come again.

 We joyed to see strange sheens
 Leap from quaint leaves in shade;
 A secret light of greens
 They'd for their pleasure made.
 We said: "We'll set such sorts as these!"
 - We knew with night the wish would cease.

 "So sweet the place," we said,
 "Its tacit tales so dear,
 Our thoughts, when breath has sped,
 Will meet and mingle here!"...
 "Words!" mused we. "Passed the mortal door,
 Our thoughts will reach this nook no more."
-- Thomas Hardy
Some more of the ubiquitous 'We'. I usually find it difficult to like Thomas
Hardy, although I appreciate his works. There is something very real, and
yet disappointing about his take on life and its experiences. Hardy's 'We'
are older and disillusioned. They pretend to hold on to dreams which they
have already set aside as unreal. The contrast between 'we said' and 'mused
we' suggests a bravado, a mask put on by each of them for the collective.
They have given up, but they still have to accept that they have given up.
And it is difficult for us to decide, whether they have lost enthusiasm or
gained maturity.

- Hita.

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