Excerpt Wednesday – The Darkling Thrush – Hardy

DarklingThrush_2Thomas Hardy wrote The Darkling Thrush in 1899, on the eve of a new century, and used the common bird as a symbol for his trepidation and hope for the future. An interesting article from 2009 (click here to read) about this poem in The Guardian notes that Hardy would not have had the same scientific perspective of birdsong we do today – his thrush sings with the emotion of a human being in the Romantic tradition. I recently decided to revisit this poem and my illustration for it. I still loved the photograph I had originally paired with the excerpt – but I wanted to better highlight the “strings of broken lyres” that I saw, and so worked with it as a digital collage. To read the whole poem, head on over here. Digital collage and composition by me.

11 comments

  1. My recent experience with UK birds says this is the Song Thrush, which sings both at dusk and in winter. They have a pretty, cheerful song, well worth thinking they know some happy secret the rest of us aren’t in on. 🙂

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      1. Where I am now, I get diversity, but in an odd way. It’s coastal heath with no trees, so I get a lot of sea birds, a good number of waders, some heath and moor specialists, and almost none of the normal garden birds. If I have a “backyard” bird here, it’s the Golden Plover, which is far from a terrible one to have. They’re ridiculously beautiful, and if I am leaving — as it’s looking more and more like I will be — I’ll miss them.

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      2. I’m sorry to hear about you possibly having to leave – I’ve seen your ruminations about your dilemma on your blog. I sincerely hope it doesn’t come to that – my thoughts are with you. I love sea birds, waders, and plovers – so I am jealous. I can’t afford shore or coastal views here (or marsh views for that matter), although I count myself lucky to be within a short drive of the beach.

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      3. I still don’t know what I’m going to do. I’m just completely without a clue about it. I’m going to Inverness tomorrow, and maybe I’ll know more after I see what there is to see there.

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