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Unexpected Elegies
“Poems of 1912-13” and Other Poems About Emma

Thomas Hardy

Selected, with an introduction by Claire Tomalin

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.

“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 (1830-1928) is the author of Tess of the d’UrbervillesThe Return of the Native, and many more classic novels. Claire Tomalin is an award-winning biographer and critic.

Paperback / $14.00 (Can $15.50) / ISBN 978-0-89255-361-7 / 66 pages / Poetry