The voice was written in the same year Hardys beloved wife Emma died. So the poem focuses on his heartache and loss over her. It shows his depression and how he mourned, we feel for him because he uses imagery and complexity in the poem to give us an idea of how he felt. From the first line we can tell what the poem is about “Woman much missed, how you call to me, call to me” This line shows how he misses his wife greatly. The poem seems to be in a kind of logical order, as he describes his feelings and what happened in the time after her death –
” Faltering forward” This quote shows us how he will mourn again soon because he is finding it extremely hard to get over his deceased wife. By visiting her old haunts and looking back at their good times it all contributes to the sadness he feels within himself. In the last verse he uses the sound of the wind in the words “oozing”, this helps to describe the feeling he held at the time of writing the poem. We associate the wind with being eerie and cold, and he uses this maybe to how us how lost he felt without his wife whom he loved greatly. Hardy uses an ABAB structure in the four verses of the poem (the 1st and 3rd lines of each verse rhyme, as do the 2nd and 4th). Throughout the voice, we see him trying to move on and although he knows he will never forget Emma, he wants to stop being sad. He writes the poem as if he was talking to his wife, we know this because he uses the words “I” and “you” quite a bit.
The second of the two poems “after a journey” was wrote almost 2 years after Emma’s death. He is trying to act positively and remember the good times him and his past wife had together. In the first line he says ” I cam to interview a voiceless ghost”, this is a paradox because it is impossible to interview a voiceless ghost. In the poem, he asks questions which suggests he is confused and still has things that he needs answering. This poem takes on an ABABCDDC structure. This could be because he wants to show us there has been change in the two years since the first poem. No longer is he constantly mourning, yet he is still lonely. The longer verses could also mean that he has more to say. He has not forgot her and he shows this by saying:
” Your nut-colored hair, rose-flush”. These all emphasize natural beauty. He hasn’t forgot what his wife was like, and remember near to enough every detail about her, this imagery describes to us some thing about her which he liked, and has taken careful attention to remember. “I see what you are doing” This quote shows that he thinks she is in control, and is scared of forgetting her. But as the poem goes on we see how he begins to feel his age and realizes that he cannot be sad forever and must open his eyes to the real world, and what he has because she will never come back.
Both poems emphasize that he loves his past wife a great deal and dearly misses her. The 1st shows his strong sense of loss and how hard it will be living without her, the 2nd shows how he is trying to move on however he is lonely and feels that although no-one else can see her, a part of her is still with him somehow. “Ignorant of what there is flitting here to see” This shows us how no one can imagine what he has lost because she was such a big part of his life. Although the two poems are by the same an both vary in some ways.
The way the second is structured and wrote gives a big impression of change, he wants other people to understand his feelings whereas in the first he was basically talking to Emma. The second poem is more nostalgic (he looks back and tries to remember the good things about their life together not the bad as the quote below shows). “Re-entered your old haunts” Therefore, I conclude both poems show how in love he was with Emma, and how much of a loss he felt when she died. Yet as time went on, he did not want to be sad anymore, so wanted to remember the good times of their life. Hardys writing techniques make these poems similar yet completely different too.