A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF WILLIAM CARLOS WILLIAMS? ?PASTORAL? AND THOMAS HARDY?S ?THE DARKLING THRUSH?

Abstract

Author(s): Pyeaam ABBASI

This study examines the two poems “The Darkling Thrush” and “Pastoral” by Thomas Hardy and W. C. Williams, and names some similarities and differences. As imagist poets the two share the power to see exactly, and create images to give their poems emotional intensity. Hardy juxtaposes modernity with tradition in order to explore loss and loneliness while Williams tries to retain a separate look that is a kind of awareness. The nostalgia for the past is what makes Hardy’s bleak view of life and failure to perceive beauty in ugliness. Accordingly Williams shows his power at finding a new and extraordinary vision in the ordinary. Although both share sharp vision and awareness, Williams is more an observer of beauty and Hardy an observer of real life or a broken world symbolized by the aging thrush. Williams participates in the sparrows’ joy and hopes the discovery of which astonishes him beyond words. In sharp contrast with Hardy, Williams cuts himself off from the past and future in order to explore human behavior in the present. Hardy’s poem is more an interaction between the past and present since he needs to recreate the past in his poems.

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