Study Guide

Afterwards Calling Card

By Thomas Hardy

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Calling Card

Depressing descriptions of birds

If you're reading a poem with a lot of bird imagery that could be interpreted as a symbol for death, you've probably got your hands on a Hardy poem. One of his other well-known poems, "The Darkling Thrush," describes a bird that sings hopefully despite its gloomy surroundings. Hardy's poetry is often described briefly as dark, depressing, or morbidly obsessed with failure and disappointment. But we all like a little angst in our reading material to pull on the old heartstrings, don't we?

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