The Going by Thomas Hardy

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The Going in part of a set of poems written by Hardy for Emma between 1912-13. All these poems are a reflection of his guilt and regret at remaining oblivious to his wife's state. The poems are attempts at redemption and attempts at trying to console himself. The Going is an accusation at Emma's untimely departure. A way for Hardy to somehow placate himself, rid himself of guilt. The title suggests an action which is contained and the coupling of 'the' with 'going' gives it a deeper edge significance. Many critics see the tone as somewhat 'maudlin'.

The poet has transitory tones of accusation, nostalgia, anguish and acceptance. It has six Septet stanzas. The rhyming scheme is ABABCCB. Alternate stanzas begin with a question although there
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The end rhymes of 'dankness' and 'blankness' are forced rhymes.

The fourth stanza develops the third by thinking back in time to when Thomas and Emma first met, in March 1870, as a result of Thomas having been sent to north Cornwall by his architect employer to look at the church of St Juliot that was in need of restoration. Emma was then living with her sister and brother-in-law at the rectory where Thomas called late in the evening with the manuscript of a poem sticking out of his pocket. Thomas made several later visits to St Juliot and their love affair began. Emma impressed Thomas by her beauty and skill on horseback, as reflected in this stanza.

There is a certain level of intimacy here that wasn't seen before. He describes her beauty and makes the minutest references to and even naming all those places they had been to as if the names had been wrung out of him and he couldn't help himself. Again, as in other poems, he remembers Emma when she was young and beautiful. Though. Many critics view this as selfish and feministic but many have also pointed out the fact that maybe those were the days when Hardy was actually happy. And this is confirmed in the stanza later as Hardy, personifying life, describes those days as 'life unrolling it's very best'.

The fifth stanza shows a level of distinction as here, Hardy switches
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