Thomas Hardy's 'Neutral tones'

Thomas Hardy ( 1849-1928)

Like D.H.Lawrence, Hardy is more famous as a novelist than poet. Unlike Lawrence, Hardy’s poetry would earn him a reputation without the prop of his prose. Much of it feels carved out of stone and reading his complete poems is an antedote to baggy writing.

This is one of my favourite poems, though it’s an awkward one to read aloud.