The Question: How well does the poet convey his personal feelings in this poem?
‘The Voice’ was written by Thomas Hardy in 1912 after his wife’s death from a severe case of rabies. The poem reveals Hardy’s guilt about how he mishandled her life treated her during her time of illness. His personal memories are nostalgic and important in this poem.
Hardy conveys his personal feelings throughout the poem by saying
“...when our day was fair.”
This quote suggests that he misses their relationship because it was more ‘fair’ back then. ‘Fair’ implies that they used to be happy and had a good quality relationship. The word ‘our’ shows an intimacy on a personal level. The phrase is written in the past tense, which conveys personal feelings about his memories.
Hardy also conveys his personal feelings when he says
“Even to the original air-blue gown!”
This quote shows that Hardy is maybe remembering the first time he saw Emma by using the word ‘original’, or maybe their first date. The choice of ‘air-blue’ could imply that for ‘air’, she is fading away, and for ‘blue’, that he is sad, as blue is a stereotypical colour of sadness. The exclamation point at the end could suggest a cry of either despair or nostalgic happiness, depending on the tone in which the poem is read; however, it is still personal feeling.
Again, Hardy conveyed personal feelings when he chose
“Can it be you that I hear?”
This shows Hardy posing a personal question to his dead wife, Emma, asking if it’s her he hears (as opposed to the wind). In writing this, he has revealed that he wants to hear her voice again.