A tetrameter line is shorter than the English norm, a pentameter. Iambic tetrameter lines generally have a quicker pace than iambic pentameters, producing a sense of energy. However, many monosyllabic words and an abundance of anapests retard the pace of these lines.
We stood by a pond that winter day, And the sun was white, as though chidden of God, And a few leaves lay on the starving sod; — They had fallen from an ash, and were gray. It would be easy to Neutral tones hardy a gloomy tone to this poem.
Straight away Hardy invokes a sense of rejection by setting the scene in the winter which people automatically associate with the cold and therefore negative emotions.
Hardy uses really emotive, bordering on melodramatic, language to describe the sun. He claims it looks like it had been rejected by god. The powerful language creates a sense of a man with strong emotions.
This stanza continues in this dramatic fashion with the narrator claiming that leaves Neutral tones hardy starving, personifying them and simultaneously suggesting they are dying.
This is powerful stuff. The narrator uses a potent play on words when he mentions about the ash tree. Once again when one thinks of ash they think of fire, and possibly cremation and therefore death.
This first stanza paints a very glum picture indeed. Your eyes on me were as eyes that rove Over tedious riddles of years ago; And some words played between us to and fro On which lost the more by our love. In the first line of this stanza the narrator suggests that their former partner had a roving eye.
This means that they were probably unfaithful which would begin to shed some light on the outpouring that made up the majority of the previous stanza. The line placement is very clever though as the enjambment line suggests that her eye was roving over riddles from years ago.
Once again this sounds like the narrator is very bitter and this continues on in this stanza. Hardy was always a poet who chose every word meticulously. The smile on your mouth was the deadest thing Alive enough to have strength to die; And a grin of bitterness swept thereby Like an ominous bird a-wing….
One of the best things about the poem is its unrelenting nature. It almost makes one think of a sociopath.
The cruel reality of this poem is we never really learn what has caused this heightened level of angst and fury. An obvious assumption would be infidelity but this is never explicitly stated.
The language and the metaphors in this part of the poem are complex and difficult to interpret. What is obvious though is the meaning of individual words. If we were to take the following words in isolation: These are not words that a painting a pretty picture of the narrators ex. Since then, keen lessons that love deceives, And wrings with wrong, have shaped to me Your face, and the God curst sun, and a tree, And a pond edged with grayish leaves.
There is a brief sense of resolution in this final stanza. A feeling that maybe the narrator has begun to move on. The narrator concedes to having learned lessons. You need to learn from the previous relationship.
Take what you can, in terms of experience and move on letting go of the resentment.
In the first two lines of this stanza there is a suggestion that this has happened. Although the narrator claims that their experience has shaped them. Once again returning to the imagery and drudgery of the first stanza. This reusing of words is key and suggests a circular emotional journey.
It could be interpreted that the narrator is trying hard to make the journey from being heartbroken to finding colour in the word but always seems to wind back at square one.
Perhaps it is because of this feeling of a lack of progress that the narrator feels so much bitterness. One of the beauties of this poem is the fact that you never really know why the poet has such strong feelings towards their former partner.
That uncertainty creates a dramatic tension. This is the hallmark of a good poem.Thomas Hardy’s poem “Neutral Tones” is a dramatic monologue consisting of four tetrameter quatrains.
The speaker addresses an estranged lover and reminisces about a foreseen moment in their. By Thomas Hardy About this Poet One of the most renowned poets and novelists in English literary history, Thomas Hardy was born in in the English village of .
‘Neutral Tones’ was written when Thomas Hardy () was a young man (in ) but not published until , when his first volume of poetry, Wessex Poems, appeared. Much of Hardy’s vast poetic output has not had much critical attention or analysis; there is a sense that many of the poems ‘speak for themselves’, that their meaning is self-evident. "Neutral Tones" is a poem written by Thomas Hardy in Forming part of his collection Wessex Poems and Other Verses, it is the most widely praised of his early poems.  It is about the end of a relationship, and carries strong emotional appeal despite its "neutral tones".First published: A second analysis: This poem, Neutral Tones, by Thomas Hardy is characteristic of typical poems by this author in many ways. First, the speaker in the poem has a sarcastic and cynical view of love and relationships, which is not uncommon in Hardy’s poetry. Second, he mentions God, but also gives the readers the idea that God is distant and cold.
Thomas Hardy’s poem “Neutral Tones” is a dramatic monologue consisting of four tetrameter quatrains. The speaker addresses an estranged lover and reminisces about a foreseen moment in their past, which anticipated the demise of their relationship. Neutral Tones by Thomas Hardy We stood by a pond that winter day, And the sun was white, as though chidden of God, And a few leaves lay on the starving sod; They had fallen from an ash, and were gray.
In Neutral Tones, Hardy carefully examines a dying relationship that once a source of delight. A state of melancholia is invoked in the reader by using the somber and . Neutral Tones is ostensibly about the narrator’s feelings regarding a break up.
In that respect it could be likened to James Fenton’s “ In Paris With You ” however this piece is very different in tone.