Hardy’s war poems are among his anthologized works, but, with few exceptions, they focus not on the fighting itself but on individuals and society in a time of war. In these poems, Hardy confounds expectations — as he so often does — but in these poems he does so by taking a subject that most people associate with death and focusing instead, with just a few exceptions, on the living. In the same way that Hardy often uses poems about love to meditate on death, he uses the subject of war to meditate on life, marriage, human relationships, religion, and writing, among other things.
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