Unexpected Elegies: "Poems of 1912-13" and Other Poems About Emma

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9780892553617: Unexpected Elegies:
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Thomas Hardy’s famous sequence of love poems, published as a book for the first time.

When Emma Hardy died in 1912, her husband, the great novelist and poet Thomas Hardy, began to write “Poems of 1912–13,” a series of elegies that are among the most moving in the English language. Although the couple had been estranged for years, after her death Hardy fell under Emma’s spell again and was enthralled by her as he hadn’t been in decades. He transformed his hopelessly revived love into poetry, pouring out his yearning and passionate attachment to a love forever lost.

“Poems of 1912–13” and the other elegies about Emma included in this volume have been read and discussed by poets and scholars for almost a century but never collected in their own book. Their accessibility, emotional power, and focus on the mysterious complexities of marriage make them of interest to a broad public. Readers will cherish this beautifully produced, illustrated volume of poetical testaments to enduring love. Nine black-and-white photographs and illustrations

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About the Author:

Thomas Hardy (1840–1928), enduring author of the twentieth century, wrote the classics Jude the Obscure, Tess of the d'Urbervilles, Far from the Madding Crowd, The Return of the Native, The Mayor of Casterbridge, and many other works.

Review:

“What an invaluable book! Thomas Hardy’s vivid, surprising, and metrically resourceful elegies, so ruthlessly truthful and wrenchingly clear, so filled with nostalgia and remorse, so tender, grief-stricken, and alive, are one of the great, shattering, open-hearted legacies of twentieth-century English poetry. We are made more human in reading them.”
- Edward Hirsch

“Thomas Hardy’s Unexpected Elegies is a superb volume of forty-one poignant lyrics by one of the half-dozen major poets of the English language in the twentieth century.”
- Harold Bloom

“The best of the poems about Emma fit no category, and his [Hardy’s] traditionalism obscures a kind of radical modernity, an outlook that pierced through Victorian pieties to see the bedrock truth of an actual marriage...He followed no Modernist doctrine, yet could be said to be more forward-looking than many of those who did.”
- Meghan O’Rourke

“Often lost in the abundance of Hardy’s larger collections, these ‘poems about Emma’ deserve their own space. In this little jewel-box of a book they have found it.”
- Eamon Grennan

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