How does hardy make “I look into my glass” a vividly surprising poem? Give detailed reference to the text.
There are several main ways that Hardy makes “I look into my glass” a vividly surprising poem for the reader. One way is through the theme of longing for death that is established in this poem. Another is that Hardy is trying to put across a message of his feelings on growing old. Thirdly there is the fact that the reader feels empathy for Hardy, as they understand the way he feels. Furthermore, there is the structure of the poem, and finally there is use of language.
Throughout the poem there is a sense that Hardy is longing for death. He was once ‘undistrest’ but is now unhappy with his life. The tri-syllable ‘undistrest’ comes after three syllabic words, which makes the reader linger on his current unhappiness, and later on at the end of the stanza, the 5-syllable word ‘equanimity’ is stretched out, mirroring the stretching out of his unhappy and, to him, pointless life. Also, in the second stanza ‘I’ is made to be a short clause on its own. This emphasis the feeling of loneliness and being alone that Hardy has. The clause is isolated, showing that he too is isolated. This all leads the reader to believe that Hardy longs for death to rid him of his miserably described life, which is surprising as most do not feel that way.
Hardy’s feelings of growing old link into the theme he created of longing for death. He feels younger than he looks, and instead of wanting his appearance to match his feelings, he wishes that his ‘heart had shrunk as thin’, meaning he wishes his heart had aged with experience as his skin has so he couldn’t be fooled or fall in love. This shows that even though your physical appearance changes, your personality stays the same and you still want to be loved. You can tell that he also feels the process of growing old takes too long, as he looks at his ‘wasting skin’. The fact that he describes it as ‘wasted’ and not wasting...