Thomas Hardy’s poem “Hap"

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Thomas Hardy’s poem “Hap"

Poetry is ultimately defined as a major literary genre. How boring that is for such a beautiful literary form. I believe that poetry is a genre devoted to art, complexity, and precision. All in which the poet does more than just writing; he or she takes that which is indescribable and finds words for it through poetry. Granted, this leaves poetry vastly open to interpretation. After all, each and every poet expresses him or herself in a different way; with different meter, rhyme, mood, and meaning. Leaving one poem practically unlike any other, like a snowflake. This is poetry, and this is also why poetry is so hard to analyze.

Every person that has read and analyzed a poem has been left wondering what the author of the poem had intended by it. Often there is room for more than one interpretation, so many are often left wondering if they correctly interpreted a poem. Several arguments could be left unfinished with the phrase, “Well, how do you know? Did the author of the poem tell you? In which the answer is, with rare exceptions, no. Authors leave clues in, in between, and all throughout their poems. That’s part of the art. They don’t just tell the readers what the poem means. That would take away from it. Instead, the reader must keep in mind that everything is in a poem for a reason. The author may not come out and say what a poem is about, but he or she will leave enough information in the poem for someone dedicated enough to find. I intend to devote such a dedication to Thomas Hardy’s poem “Hap,” in order to analyze, and hopefully, understand this poem through a process.

Perhaps the first and most obvious step would be to read the poem. Just read it. As in: begin reading and don’t stop, fee...

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...becomes a piece of literature that a reader can appreciate. These, also, are by no means the only steps a reader could take to understand a poem. There’s always more time that can be devoted to understanding a poem. There is also a multitude of research on poetry that a reader could use in order to better understand it, just as I would have been lost without a dictionary. Sometimes there is more inside knowledge that a reader would have never known unless they looked it up. Still, it depends on the reader, and the poem they are reading as to whether or not they’ll go beyond their own understanding in search of others’. Understanding poetry is a difficult task, but that does not mean it cannot be done. Depending on how much time and effort a reader is willing to devote to a poem will affect how well they will understand it, in addition to how much they will enjoy it.

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