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I LOOK INTO MY GLASS, by             Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography

Context: Thomas Hardy's poem "I Look into My Glass" was written during the later years of his life, when he was reflecting on the transience of life and the inevitability of death. Hardy was a Victorian novelist and poet who wrote about the struggles and tragedies of everyday life, often with a sense of pessimism and disillusionment. He is known for his emphasis on the harsh realities of life and his exploration of human emotions such as love, loss, and regret.

Content: "I Look into My Glass" is a short and poignant poem that reflects on the speaker's approaching death and his feelings of regret for missed opportunities and unfulfilled desires. The speaker looks into a mirror, or "glass," and sees the reflection of his aging face, realizing that his time on earth is running out. He speaks of the "dullness" of his "eye" and the "deep lines" on his face, which serve as a reminder of his mortality.

The poem is characterized by a sense of melancholy and resignation, as the speaker reflects on the passing of time and the brevity of life. He speaks of the things he will never experience, such as the "blaze of noon" and the "lighted windows" of a busy city, and expresses his sadness at the things he will never see or do. The poem ends with a sense of acceptance, as the speaker acknowledges that his life is coming to an end and that he must face his mortality.

Form: "I Look into My Glass" is a sonnet, consisting of fourteen lines in iambic pentameter. The poem follows the traditional rhyme scheme of a Shakespearean sonnet, with the rhyme scheme ABAB CDCD EFEF GG. The use of a sonnet form gives the poem a sense of structure and order, reflecting the speaker's attempts to come to terms with his own mortality.

Poetic Elements: The poem makes use of several poetic devices, including metaphor and imagery. The metaphor of the mirror or "glass" serves as a powerful symbol of the speaker's mortality, as he looks into the glass and sees the reflection of his aging face. The imagery of the "deep lines" on his face and the "dullness" of his eyes further emphasizes his sense of aging and mortality. The use of repetition, such as the repeated phrase "I look into my glass," adds to the poem's sense of introspection and reflection.

Summary: "I Look Into My Glass" by Thomas Hardy is a poignant exploration of mortality and the human experience. Through the use of striking imagery, repetition, and a reflective tone, Hardy expresses the inevitability of aging and the futility of trying to hold onto the past. The poem's structure, with its consistent rhyme scheme and meter, reinforces the sense of inevitability and the passage of time. Overall, "I Look Into My Glass" is a powerful meditation on the fleeting nature of life and the importance of cherishing the present moment.

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