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Unread 01-11-2018, 12:08 PM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 4,236
Default Hardy's "Fallow Deer"

I love Hardy the most at his simplest and most straight-forward, I think. This little lyric is great:

The Fallow Deer at the Lonely House

One without looks in to-night
Through the curtain-chink
From the sheet of glistening white;
One without looks in to-night
As we sit and think
By the fender-brink.

We do not discern those eyes
Watching in the snow;
Lit by lamps of rosy dyes
We do not discern those eyes
Wondering, aglow,
Fourfooted, tiptoe.

I do think there is a flaw—the speaker is an “I” (part of the “we”), and there is a perceptual inconsistency in that the “I” is aware that it does “not discern” the deer outside. Would the poem be better in the third person omniscient?

The Fallow Deer at the Lonely House

One without looks in to-night
Through the curtain-chink
From the sheet of glistening white;
One without looks in to-night
As they sit and think
By the fender-brink.

They do not discern those eyes
Watching in the snow;
Lit by lamps of rosy dyes
They do not discern those eyes
Wondering, aglow,
Fourfooted, tiptoe.

Also, why does it matter that the deer is “fallow”?
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