Poem Analysis : ' Are You Digging On My Grave '

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Taylor Varney
Professor Vicky Evans
English 101
April 1, 2017

Ah, Are You Digging on My Grave," is a poem written by Thomas Hardy. The central theme of this poem is death, which is also seen in several different forms throughout the works of Thomas Hardy. There is a great deal of disappointment expressed in this poem. The Oxford Reader 's Companion to Hardy deems it, "a satire of circumstance" (Page 378). Thus, death and the afterlife are things of tragedy in this particular work. The point that Hardy makes is that no love or hate outlasts death.

An important aspect to the poem 's structure is that it is written sequentially in order to prepare the reader for an unsettling ending. Hardy takes us on a downward
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She is told that her enemy, "cares not where you lie" (p.48; l.18). Similarly, as with her loved ones, her enemy simply thinks the woman no more worth her time to worry about.

In the next stanza, the woman has exhausted all of the possibilities, so she gives up and asks who is there. She now finds out that it is her dog. Hardy himself loved animals and it is not a surprise that he would use a dog as the digger. As seen in Victorian Poetry, Hardy, "always championed kindness to animals" (9: 465). He, however, creates a surprising twist, at the end of the poem. Earlier on, in the fifth stanza, the woman praises the noble dog, stating how no human can rival, "A dog 's fidelity" (p.49; l.12). In the last stanza of this rather depressing poem, comes the final blow to the woman. The dog has not remembered her either and has, in fact, mistakenly trodden upon her grave.

In the words of The Pattern of Hardy 's Poetry, the dog believes that her grave is, "a place to bury bones, not affections" (Hynes 53). So, even her faithful dog does not care to remember her.

"Ah, Are You Digging on My Grave," is a very tragic and sad poem. It is written in Victorian Studies that, "Hardy recognized that personal relations provide no sure refuge from tragic experience" (36: 176). This plainly means that, as far as death is concerned, few are truly remembered, if

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