Reading Poetry Challenge Week 2

Week 2 of my poetry challenge and I have read a few more poems in the Thomas Hardy Collection. I am enjoying the slightly melancholic feel of many of these poems. I think that maybe I appreciate them more now that I am older as many of his poems are about things that he remembers from his youth.

One poem that really struck a chord this week was The Superseded. Hardy writes about how we have to step aside from things as we grow older to allow younger people to take our place. This is the natural order of things but still might be something that we regret. Being deemed too old to take part in something happened to me last year and it’s still a sad feeling to know that it is going on without me.

The Superseded
As newer comers crowd the fore
We drop behind
We who have laboured long and sore
Time out of mind
And keen are yet, must not regret
To drop behind

Yet there are some of us who grieve
To go behind
Staunch, strenuous souls who scare believe
Their fires declined
And know none spares, remembers, cares
Who go behind

Tis not that we have unforetold
The drop behind
We feel the new must oust the old
In every kind
But yet we think, must we, must we
Too, drop behind?

Thomas Hardy 1901

Over a hundred years later, this poem sums up exactly how I felt at the time and still feel now. This to me, is the beauty of poetry, that ability to capture feelings in words that stand the test of time.


Author: Janette

Recently retired Ex-Assistant Head of a large primary school in Leicestershire although I seem to be in school teaching quite a bit still.

6 thoughts on “Reading Poetry Challenge Week 2”

  1. It is a beautiful poem and captures the feeling of being left out well. But I wonder why we continue to treat old age as a sort of indicator of incapacity or ability when one knows fully well this isn’t the case. Some may be rendered so because of illness and such but when they are aren’t exclusion isnt the right way both for them and broader society. Thanks for sharing the poem, Janette

    1. To be fair, I think it’s happening less nowadays. My personal experience was in my theatre group where the director felt that older members of the society put younger people off joining!!!!!!!! The poem really summed up my feelings.

      1. Things are better no doubt, but sadly the view that different age groups won’t get along or are too different or the prejudices that one holds against the other sadly continue, not helped by the obsession with youth which cosmetic companies constantly promote

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