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    • POEM: A Broken Appointment by Thomas Hardy (10/18/2007 11:10:00 AM)

      I love Thomas Hardy poems, enough to memorize this one and also 'Neutral Tones' & 'I look into my glass'. He strikes a deep chord of sympathy in me, it is like I have felt what he is so gifted in expressing; the bitter disappointment in a beloved that 'you love not me'. As I meditate on his poems I see a familiar (because I see it in me) stain of sin, a recurring thread of selfishness, bitterness and vindictiveness running through his powerful prose. Consider, posterity will never know why the appointment was broken, or, in 'Neutral Tones' why the lady grew disenchanted with him, or why no one is paying close attention to his “throbbings of noontide” (“I look into my glass”) but Hardy does not hesitate to repeatedly use his power to create a form of artwork that he knows will damn his subject for the ages. If Hardy was as broody and melancholy in person as his poetry suggests, I can very easily imagine a young fan, initially thrilled at meeting him, becoming more and more disinclined to continue her association with someone who turns out to be an introspective boor, even if the introspective boor is a 'Great Man'. I think Thomas Hardy has the gift of eloquently describing what almost all of us have experienced at one time or another; the painful recognition that someone we have grown to delight in has come into our lives, gotten to know us and has chosen to leave us. We do this to great poets, and our creator, Jesus Christ, to our eternal peril.