A Broken Appointment Analysis: This is a short analysis of the poem A Broken Appointment by Thomas Hardy.
Hardy is a fascinating Victorian poet and novelist, and his life is equally fascinating. He is born in 1840, the last year of the evolution of the industrial revolution, just before the onslaught that is the Crimean War.
Actually the infancy of the Victorian era and with that, the British Empire.
So if we fast forward the year of his death 1928 by then Britain has suffered with several other wars, the BOA war, World War One.
I mean that time women have also got the vote. So really his Victorian childhood adolescence and adulthood then evolves into modality.
His lifetime therefore, helps show huge change, and his poetry concentrates on turmoil.
He concentrates largely on themes such as disappointment, failure, frustration with love, and the personal implications of societal constraints on love.
He writes about broken relationships and desperation across his novels also.
In this case, it’s faced by a man who wanted a woman. He’s addressing this woman who he loved, because he wished she would love him.
Let’s now zoom in on the actual title, A Broken Appointment.
The title definitely reflects something quite clinical. The noun appointment seems much more pragmatic, like the word I’ve used to something I have to do, like go to the dentist, rather than a romantic liaison.
I wonder if that’s partly emphasized further through the use of the adjective broken, which definitely heightens the sadness, the disappointment, actually the frustration that this meeting didn’t happen across this poem, as the title suggests.
The post voice is concentrating on how that moment that broken appointment led to rejection in love.
Actually, how unrequited love remains the focus across this poetic voices vision of the events that happened as we read and I want you to try and pick out any language that zooms in for you on the pain of this moment.
You did not come and marching time drew on and warming them, yet less for loss of your dear presence there than that I just found lacking in your make that high compassion which can overbear reluctance for pure loving kindness is sake grieve die when as the hope our stroked itself did not come. You love not me.
Love alone can lend you royalty. I know a new it. But on to the store of human deeds divine in orbit name was it not worth a little hour or more to add yet this once you a woman pain to sue the time torn man.
Even though it be you love not me. Each stands at this poem starts with a strong cold negative statement and accusation that seems immovable.
You did not come there’s more emotion there.
And then we move on as the poem continues into line two with the impatience of waiting in vain and marching time drew on if you can hear the long vowel sounds, we can really echo with the frustration of our speaker.
And it will be numb. Our speaker is definitely correlating the rejection affecting their self-worth.
The alliteration we find a nice three and four is fascinating because it’s as a fast speaker is trying to piecemeal together the realization that they’re still devastated from something that happened then yeah, yes, beliefs that nothing does, that they’re trying to piece it together for themselves.
And it sounds a bit fumbling. But if anything, the realization that our speaker has, as they continue to relive the trauma of that past moment, they’re still a bit shocked at being jilted in such an inhumane way.
They’re talking about how high compassion could have been something they would expect that actually there was a reluctance for pure loving kindness is sake.
So there’s an interesting question here, was it the illusion of goodwill to not show up by their reluctance to not attend was that good to our speaker is absolutely awful.
The illusion of loving kindness into one thing accentuates what was missing from the person they’re speaking to their addresses getting told you should be in a kind of person, because that would have helped us out.
Because instead, the consequence is shown to us in the final couplet, and the syntax of that final couple.
It really accentuates for us how much the suffering for the self of our speaker is ongoing, grieved I.
And that’s an unusual way for us to choose to speak today.
But the emphasis on how he felt seems a bit imperfect. Actually, the use the past tense to me seems fake, I think they’re still suffering now, they’re still grieving now.
But more than that, if we continue to look at the syntax of that whole final couplet, what follows there are two commas between one word when and it forces us as a reader when we’re reading at grief die, when to take two sharp inhalations of breath.
And I, the trauma of that moment, the traumatizing realization that you’re still suffering of something that happened in the past when that damage was done.
And that hope our when it son was done, so we’re given the semantic field of time across this poem.
But the hope our done, and so we’re back again, to the few tile start of our stanza, in the final line at that standard, you did not come as to the sense that we can’t move on, we’re on repeat.
The brokenness of our speaker cannot be changed or moved on from, they’re stuck.
It makes sense to now dig deeper into the actual mechanics of his parents rhyme scheme.
Because it gives us a deeper understanding of potentially where our poet was seeking to take this interesting scenario.
So as you can see, we have the poem starting and ending with a couplet.
The couplets have ionic diameter, which is an unstressed syllable than a stretch to double and to metrical feet per line. So let me explain that you love not me.
We get the sense there’s the difference between the speaker and who they’re addressing through the way we are forced to enunciate the strip, unstressed and stressed in each of the words that we say.
It shows this conflict, and it adds to the sense of impassioned pain.
Yeah, the court train sandwich between these couplets is I am bet pentameter.
It’s got a rigid rhyme scheme and pentameter is often referred to as the heartbeat of a poem because it mirrors the number of beats that we would find in a healthy heartbeat.
So in the sandwich between the pain, if you like, is a heart that beats something different. Now, if we look quite carefully, at the ionic pentameter, I know I knew it onto the store.
That’s just one line that continues to show the passion of the speaker. Under the constraints of bionic pentameter. It’s as if her attitudes forced him into more pain within his heart.
Very deep stuff, right? standard to emote to be concentrates on the consequences of that day of that event of her not showing up. And his big guilt trip is true love would show up, they show loyalty.
Okay? You love not me, because if you did, you’re shown up that day and told me to my face, it’s a bit like today being dumped by text or something. It’s not okay.
We refer to the story of human deeds not interesting, not idea that’s conjured up.
It’s suggested suggesting that you had courage, right? You’d have met me one more time and told me to my face.
And there’s a real ongoing sense that our speaker cannot let go with that and the references to time across this poem, but specifically, in lines five and seven, of standard to where was it not worth a little hour or more?
To see the time torn man. Like how deep rooted this memory is, there’s no dislodging it.
Because it’s as if time is the eternal punishment for not being able to move on from this moment. reflection of time torn man reflects the kind of resignation and frustration of our poetic voice you just can’t let it go. intriguingly, though, this poem ends with a question.
Even though it be you love not me. It’s a question not a statement. And potentially that punctuation helps explain the troubled mind of our speaker at year and more.
The question presents the lack of closure for them. And that lack of closure, is why they’re still racking their brain about that moment in the past.
There’s no denying that hardy is an expert, putting unrequited love under the spotlight. And he tells that expertly here.
The thing that’s so fascinating about this particular poem, that the accusations are coming thick and fast, but we as speakers, have our own hearts and minds as readers with our own interpretations must be questioning. Does she ever love him?
What was her side of the story, we never get a chance to really understand it. She has simply guilt trips for what she failed to deliver.
And we know it’s a shame, just to be clear. Once you It says online, seven Abbas danza to a woman. And again we have the same businesses in the first stanza of the sharp inhalation of breath with the claws with two commas in between it.
There’s definitely resentment about the woman Now many people call Holly a woman hater. Please look elsewhere for my other videos to understand more about the nuances of his own love life.
But he Danny portrays here Zika who can’t move on who’s obsessed with the rejection and what it’s done to him as hurt his way through and etching out his pain in some beautifully musical language.
Hopefully this poem is now on packed for you in a way that means you can approach a broken appointment with a fresh gaze.