“Neutral Tones” by Thomas Hardy.
Thomas Hardy’s poem “Neutral Tones” talks about this couple that stand together in front of a pond. That day was a cold one, the sun was white and the leaves were grey. This day she stops the relationship between them. Later he understands the face of this girl and the surroundings.
This poem has a quatrain rime, mixed with slant and perfect rimes. The meter is not that strict but for the most part it is iambic. So in the first stanza the author describes his surroundings and how all for him is in neutral colors, nothing sticks out. Its winter they are on a pond with gray leaves and the sun is white. So since the begging it shows us that there is something negative in some kind of way. In the second stanza he describes her eyes, her looks that they rove in riddles of years ago. So this relationship could be from years ago and she looks at him thinking in riddles that were from the past. In the third stanza he talks about her smile that it’s a fake one with some bitterness on it and alive enough to have the strength to die. Then in the fourth stanza he talks about how the lessons that love deceives and the wrings with wrong have shaped everything he mentioned earlier.
Clearly the last stanza returns to the first one. “We stood by a pond that winter day, And the sun was white, as though chidden of God, And a few leaves lay on the starving sod, --They had fallen from an ash, and were gray.” “Your face, and the God-curst sun, and a tree, And a pond edged with grayish leaves.” So he returns to her, to the pond, to the white god-curst sun, to the tree and to the grayish leaves. But know he doesn’t talk about them the same way, know he sees why they are the way they are, why the tree seems like an ash, why the leaves are gray. Why would someone compare a tree with ashes? The tree means life, and the ashes means death, it’s a big contradiction. Their relationship was dead, she had finished it.