I order for Thomas Hardy to express a loss, or melancholy, he creates harsh images, emphasizes loss of a relationship, uses symbolism, and allows the readers to feel his despair. For example, in “Nuetral Tones”, he talks of a relationship that is no longer and in order for the reader to feel what he is trying to convey, he includes lines such as:
“And a few leaves lay on the starving sod;
– They had fallen from an ash, and were gray”
As if it being winter was not dreary enough, the imagery allows the readers to feel his despair, deeper than just the dreary weather.
While some of Thomas Hardy’s poems have tones of despair, A.E. Housman’s poems have tones of nostalgia, pessimism, and regret. In “When I Was Twenty and One”‘, he writes about a young man who didn’t take advise from a wiser older man. It is clear that he was regretful in the second stanza, especially by the last two lines:
“And I am two-and-twenty,
And oh, ’tis true, ’tis true.”
The last stanza was almost as if Housman had his fists in the air, in a painful nostaliga, asking why he didn’t listen to the older man as in doing so, he could have prevented the pain, and consequences of not listening.