Many giants of literature originate from the shores of the emerald isles: Shakespeare, Dickens, Chaucer, the Brontes, and Austen, to which most people would willingly add the name Thomas Hardy. Far from the Madding Crowd, Tess of the D’Urbervilles, and The Mayor of Casterbridge are but three of his literary masterpieces.
But let us go further and add to his canon his poems. Hardy himself thought he was a poet who wrote novels purely for the money. Indeed his poems were not published until he was in his 50s, after his major novels were published and his reputation set. Today his poetry is more rightly regarded in its own right.