book cover of Wessex Poems
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Wessex Poems

A collection of poems by

Thomas Hardy claimed that his first love had always been poetry, but it was not until the age of 58 that this first collection, written over a period of 30 years, was published. Wessex was the "partly-real, partly-dream" county that formed the backdrop for most of Hardy's writings—named after an Anglo-Saxon kingdom and modeled on the real counties of Berkshire, Devon, Dorset, Hampshire, Somerset, and Wiltshire. The poems deal with classic Hardy themes of disappointment in love and life, and the struggle to live a meaningful life in an indifferent world. Although Hardy's poetry was not as well received as his fiction, he continued to publish collections until his death, and thanks in part to the influence of Philip Larkin, he is increasingly realized as a poet of great stature.

Genre: Literary Fiction

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