Hardy's Emma Poems
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ELT 45 : 3 2002 Warwick Gould would have been wise to let someone else review Richard Finner an's hypermedia The W. B. Yeats Collection. One expects Gould to attack Finneran and so takes his criticism sadly rather than seriously . Not knowing Italian, I cannot judge Francesca Bugliani-Knox's review of Sergio Daneluzzi's translation of The Secret Rose. And Phillip Marcus's brief review of Marjorie Howes's Yeats's Nations brings us back to where Donoghue started. We are warned wisely not to oversimplify the complexity of the late Yeats. Most of this book is at one remove from Yeats the poet, but is useful in demonstrating his actual political involvement and in penetrating a step further into the mysteries of his occult thought. David Clark ______________ Sequim, Washington Hardy's Emma Poems Thomas Hardy's Emma Poems. Rosemarie A. Morgan and William W. Morgan, eds. The Hardy Association Press, 2001. 69 pp. Paper £10.00 $15.00 THE THOMAS HARDY ASSOCIATION (TTHA) was founded in the Spring of 1997 "by lovers of Hardy for lovers of Hardy" and has grown so rapidly that it now provides an important source of information and discussion on its nine independent websites about Hardy's life and work. It is first and foremost an organisation making skillful use of the facilities and opportunities offered by the computer, the website, and the internet. By this means it brings together a wide range of people from all over the world in a web of knowledge, friendship and discussion. However, it has wisely chosen not to abandon books completely and it now publishes a yearly Hardy Review which provides well-chosen extracts from the discussions which have taken place on the Association's websites. Some idea of the value of this can be found at the beginning of volume III (Summer 2000) where the nature of "criticism" itself is discussed in a remarkably enlightening way, and a variety of attitudes towards modern criticism is revealed. By this time two "debating platforms" had emerged, the first (directed by Dr Betty Cortus) of a general nature handling a wide variety of Hardy-related queries, comments , ideas and research questions from across the world; the second a "Poem of the Month" discussion. Each month the POTM Director, Professor William Morgan, chooses one of Hardy's poems and writes an introduction to it which is designed to stimulate thought and discussion. So stimulating and interesting have many of these "Poem of the Month" 358 BOOK REVIEWS exchanges been that the Association has now designed a new series of short books bringing together the best of the discussions, and under the general title of "The Occasional Series" the first two titles have been published. Hardy's Emma Poems is the second of these and it provides what the President of the Association calls "a small sample of the intellectual energy that characterises the TTHA website." The subject is a good one. The poems written after the death of Hardy's wife, Emma, in 1912 are recognised as among his greatest, and it was to be expected that they would lead to a really worthwhile discussion—and they did. After a questioning and shrewd introduction by William Morgan the screen is open for a wide-ranging and always interesting exchange of views from a wide variety of contributors. Among the subjects discussed are Hardy's sincerity, his textual revisions, his vocabulary, his mastery of rhythm and metre, and the nature of his relationship with Emma during the thirty-eight years of their marriage. In one sense this internet meeting of minds is important in that it enables anyone to express opinions and exchange views with a worldwide audience without even leaving home. I have long thought that the questions asked after a formal lecture were either asked in order to exhibit the knowledge of the questioner or so profound that the exhausted lecturer has no possibility of providing a reasonable answer. Even the shy and timid can have their say on the internet and benefit from the response which their contribution attracts. This can be seen in Emma Poems where the "professional" and the "amateur" exchange opinions and argue...