Some years ago, I was attending a wonderful workshop on appreciating
poetry, run by my friend Wendy, and she mentioned a poem by Thomas
Hardy, called The Darkling Thrush. We didn't get to read the poem, but
what I understood of the poem was that it was about a thrush singing in
a desolate landscape, and the poet wondering why.
Later, when I sat down to dinner, dissecting my spaghetti bolognaise
and a somewhat irksome poem by Yeats, this suddenly came to me:
They have no knowledge
of all we doubt, or question.
So they sing, and fly.
I thought perhaps I should read Mr. Hardy's poem before presumptuously
posting my own response to it, so I googled it and found an interesting
review, as well as the poem itself. I hope you will read the link I've
provided. It's incredibly beautiful, savour each word, each line. I can
hardly believe that these words are written by the same man who wrote
those stern novels with tedious descriptions of architecture for literature
students to agonise over. Oh, such beautiful wise use of words .. I'm so
jealous, so inspired, so moved. And a bit sad when I realise that I'm
far more cynical than Mr. Hardy ever was.