Saturday, November 05, 2005

"You Were The Sort That Men Forget" by Thomas Hardy

You were the sort that men forget;
Though I--not yet! -
Perhaps not ever. Your slighted weakness
Adds to the strength of my regret!

You'd not the art--you never had
For good or bad -
To make men see how sweet your meaning,
Which, visible, had charmed them glad.

You would, by words inept let fall,
Offend them all,
Even if they saw your warm devotion
Would hold your life's blood at their call.

You lacked the eye to understand
Those friends offhand
Whose mode was crude, though whose dim purport
Outpriced the courtesies of the bland.

I am now the only being who
Remembers you
It may be. What a waste that Nature
Grudged soul so dear the art its due!


This poem caught my attention by the first line. It is a bold accusation, saying that he will be forgotten. What's interesting is that the speaker takes back that accusation later. I saw the subject as a nice guy, that most people would brush off at first, but once you got to know him, you would always remember him. This is a good poem because it recognizes good people that are otherwise ignored. It is almost like a "revenge of the nerds" in poem style. It is odd that the subject of the poem seems to be to nice to understand that his peers do not respect him, but for some reason, the speaker does. I think the rhyme scheme of this poem is odd as well, where in each stanza, all the lines but the third rhyme. I don't think I understand why the speaker will remember the odd subject though.

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