During Wind and Rain

During Wind and Rain

By Thomas Hardy

They sing their dearest songs—
He, she, all of them—yea,
Treble and tenor and bass,
And one to play;
With the candles mooning each face. . .
Ah, no; the years O!
How the sick leaves reel down in throngs!

They clear the creeping moss—
Elders and juniors—aye,
Making the pathways neat
And the garden gay;
And they build a shady seat. . . .
Ah, no; the years, the years,
See, the white storm-birds wing across.

They are blithely breakfasting all—
Men and maidens—yea,
Under the summer tree,
With a glimpse of the bay,
While pet fowl come to the knee. . . .
Ah, no; the years O!
And the rotten rose is ript from the wall.

They change to a high new house,
He, she, all of them—aye,
Clocks and carpets and chairs
On the lawn all day,
And brightest things that are theirs. . . .
Ah, no; the years, the years;
Down their carved names the rain-drop ploughs.

Summary of During Wind and Rain

  • Popularity of “During Wind and Rain”: “During wind and Rain” was written by Thomas Hardy, one of the best poets and writers of the Victorian & Edwardian eras. He wrote this remarkable literary piece in 1907 after the loss of his beloved wife. The poem recollects the memories of the speaker’s family. He takes the readers back in time, visualizing the kind of life he used to enjoy. It also sheds light on the fact how the constantly changing cycle of life turns every joyous moment into a memory. The poem is heartfelt with the description of his family and the memories.
  • “During Wind and Rain” As a Representative of Emotions: The poem beautifully illustrates the memories of the speaker with his family. The poem begins when the speaker recollects some joyous moments spent with his family. He remembers how they used to sing their favorite songs together with one member playing a musical instrument. These cheerful moments were routine occurrences when they set together to celebrate their time. Later, he discusses how they used to share their responsibilities such as cleaning the moss from the garden and having breakfast together in summers. Since hours of pleasure are too short, this beautiful family also got separated. The speaker tells us when the family shifted to a luxurious house, they moved all their belongings to a new house, leaving behind brightening memories. Now, the house seems empty and hollow. It has turned into a graveyard. Toward the end, the speaker is shown present in the graveyard, where he sees raindrop falling on the graves of his family members.
  • Major Themes in “During Wind and Rain”: Family’s love, the transience of life, and the changing nature of time are the major themes of the poem. The poem presents us with a catchy description of a family. The speaker discusses how he spent unforgettable life moments with his family. He sheds light on all the warm moments he spent with them and how they enjoyed their time by singing, dancing, and helping each other. Unfortunately, time never remains the same and so does our life. This happy family also witnessed its decay; the members of the family left for their eternal abodes, leaving behind a mixture of happy and sad memories for the speaker.

Analysis of Literary Devices Used in “During Wind and Rain”

literary devices are powerful tools that enable the writers to bring depth and clarity to the texts. These devices convey their message to the readers effectively. Thomas Hardy has also used some literary devices in this poem. The analysis of the devices used in this poem is given below.

  1. Assonance: Assonance is the repetition of vowel sounds in the same line in quick succession. For example, the sound of /e/ in “He, she, all of them—aye” and the sound of /au/ in “On the lawn all day”.
  2. Alliteration: It is the repetition of consonant sounds in the same line in quick succession. For example, the sound of /g/ in “And the garden gay” and the sound of /k/ in “Clocks and carpets and chairs.”
  3. Anaphora: It refers to the repetition of a word or expression in the first part of some verses. For example, the word “and” is repeated in the first stanza of the poem to emphasize the point.

“And the garden gay;
And they build a shady seat.”

  1. Enjambment: It is defined as a thought in verse that does not come to an end at a line break; instead, it rolls over to the next line. For example,

Making the pathways neat
And the garden gay.”

  1. Imagery: Imagery is used to make readers perceive things involving their five senses. For example, “They change to a high new house”, “Down their carved names the rain-drop ploughs” and “How the sick leaves reel down in throngs.”
  2. Metaphor: It is a figure of speech in which an implied comparison is made between the objects that are different in nature. “The new house” metaphorically represents the new era of the family where they failed to adore the life they had previously lived.
  3. Symbolism: Symbolism is using symbols to signify ideas and qualities, giving them symbolic meanings that are different from literal meanings. “Carved names” stands for the graves of the family members. while “new house” symbolizes the big change this happy family witnessed.

Analysis of Poetic Devices Used in “During Wind and Rain”

Poetic and literary devices are the same, but a few are used only in poetry. Here is the analysis of some of the poetic devices used in this poem.

  1. End Rhyme: End rhyme is used to make the stanza melodious. For example, “seat/neat”, “chairs/theirs” and “all/wall.”
  2. Repetition: There is a repetition of the verse “Ah, no; the years O” which has created a musical quality in the poem.
  3. Refrain: The lines that are repeated at some distance in the poems are called a ‘refrain’. The verse, “Ah, no; the years O” has become a refrain due to its repetition.
  4. Stanza: A stanza is a poetic form of some lines. There are four stanzas in this poem with each comprising seven lines.

Quotes to be Used

The lines stated below are suitable to refer to while talking about the quality time people spend with their dear ones.

They sing their dearest songs—
He, she, all of them—yea,
Treble and tenor and bass,
And one to play;
With the candles mooning each face.”

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