A Short Analysis of Thomas Hardy’s ‘Beeny Cliff’

Posted: 18/05/2018 by vequinox in Literature

Interesting Literature

On one of Hardy’s classic ‘Poems of 1912-13’

‘Beeny Cliff’ is one of Thomas Hardy’s best-loved poems, and belongs to the ‘Poems of 1912-13’ which he wrote in the wake of the death of his first wife, Emma. Although he and Emma had been estranged for many years when she died, her death provoked Hardy to revisit his memories of their life together and to pen some of the finest poems about loss and longing in the English language. ‘Beeny Cliff’, which deserves closer analysis than it usually receives, is one such poem.

Beeny Cliff

O the opal and the sapphire of that wandering western sea,
And the woman riding high above with bright hair flapping free –
The woman whom I loved so, and who loyally loved me.

The pale mews plained below us, and the waves seemed far away
In a nether sky, engrossed in saying their ceaseless…

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