Thomas Hardy Quotes

My weakness has always been to prefer the large intention of an unskilful artist to the trivial intention of an accomplished one: in other words, I am more interested in the high ideas of a feeble executant than in the high execution of a feeble thinker.
Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), British novelist, poet. Letter, July 8, 1901. Published in Florence Emily Hardy, The Later Years of Thomas Hardy, ch. 7 (1930).
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Pessimism ... is, in brief, playing the sure game. You cannot lose at it; you may gain. It is the only view of life in which you can never be disappointed. Having reckoned what to do in the worst possible circumstances, when better arise, as they may, life becomes child's play.
Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), British novelist, poet. Note, January 1, 1902. Published in Florence Emily Hardy, The Later Years of Thomas Hardy, ch. 7 (1930).
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If all hearts were open and all desires known—as they would be if people showed their souls—how many gapings, sighings, clenched fists, knotted brows, broad grins, and red eyes should we see in the market-place!
Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), British novelist, poet. published in Florence Emily Hardy, The Later Years of Thomas Hardy, ch. 10, note, Aug. 18, 1908 (1930).
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Poetry is emotion put into measure. The emotion must come by nature, but the measure can be acquired by art.
Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), British novelist, poet. Note written 1899. Quoted in Florence Emily Hardy, The Later Years of Thomas Hardy, ch. 6 (1930).
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My opinion is that a poet should express the emotion of all the ages and the thought of his own.
Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), British novelist, poet. Remark, 1918. Quoted in Florence Emily Hardy, The Later Years of Thomas Hardy, ch. 15 (1930).
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We enter church, and we have to say, "We have erred and strayed from Thy ways like lost sheep," when what we want to say is, "Why are we made to err and stray like lost sheep?" Then we have to sing, "My soul doth magnify the Lord," when what we want to sing is "O that my soul could find some Lord that it could magnify!"
Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), British novelist, poet. note, Jan. 1907. Quoted in Florence Emily Hardy, The Later Years of Thomas Hardy, ch. 9 (1930).
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re-enact at the vestry-glass Each pulpit gesture in deft dumb-show That had moved the congregation so.
Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), British novelist, poet. Satires of Circumstance (l. 21-24). . . The Complete Poems of Thomas Hardy. James Gibson, ed. (1978) Macmillan.
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preacher glides to the vestry-door, And shuts it, and thinks he is seen no more.
Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), British novelist, poet. Satires of Circumstance (l. 21-24). . . The Complete Poems of Thomas Hardy. James Gibson, ed. (1978) Macmillan.
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Shut out that stealing moon, She wears too much the guise she wore Before our lutes were strewn With years-deep dust, and names we read On a white stone were hewn.
Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), British novelist, poet. Shut Out That Moon (l. 2-6). . . The Complete Poems of Thomas Hardy. James Gibson, ed. (1978) Macmillan.
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A sparrow enters the tree, Whereon immediately A snow lump thrice his own slight size Descends on him and showers his head and eyes, And overturns him,
Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), British novelist, poet. Snow in the Suburbs (l. 9-13). . . The Complete Poems of Thomas Hardy. James Gibson, ed. (1978) Macmillan.
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