When I mention to friends and acquaintances that I have been spending the bulk of my time lately thinking about Thomas Hardy, they almost inevitably expect that I am writing about his novels. Perhaps because novels are more widely read these days than poems, or because some of Hardy’s novels include unforgettable plots and characters, like Tess Durbeyfield and Eustacia Vye, or because some of the novels are known for their film versions, most readers today think of Hardy primarily as a novelist. They are often not even aware that Hardy wrote poems, yet he actually composed more than 1000 poems, many of which are very highly regarded.
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