A Short Analysis of Thomas Hardy’s ‘The Self-Unseeing’

A stylish autopsy on a classic work of literary art

Interesting Literature

A summary of a classic Hardy poem

‘The Self-Unseeing’ is a short Thomas Hardy poem that originally appeared in his second volume of poems, Poems of the Past and the Present, in 1901. Like many of Hardy’s poems, ‘The Self-Unseeing’ seems to require no detailed unpicking or analysis; it can be understood on first reading fairly easily. Nevertheless, the poem raises certain questions which it isn’t so easy to answer.

The Self-Unseeing

Here is the ancient floor,
Footworn and hollowed and thin,
Here was the former door
Where the dead feet walked in.

She sat here in her chair,
Smiling into the fire;
He who played stood there,
Bowing it higher and higher.

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