Silence

Thomas Hood

Biography of Thomas Hood

http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/thomas-hood


Thomas Hood, an editor, publisher, poet, and humorist, spent much of his life working with literature. He even spent some time with magazines. While Hood was a busy writer, he also did his time as a poor working man. Hood spent time working in a counting house and as an engraver. He became known for his light versus, puns, and depiction of the working conditions for the poor. Hood lived a full life from 1799 - 1845.

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Silence

There is a silence where hath been no sound,

There is a silence where no sound may be,

In the cold grave -- under the deep deep sea,

Or in the wide desert where no life is found,


Which hath been mute, and still must sleep profound;

No voice is hush'd -- no life treads silently,

But clouds and cloudy shadows wander free,

That never spoke, over the idle ground:


But in green ruins, in the desolate walls

Of antique places, where Man hath been,

Though the dun fox, or wild hyena, calls,

And owls, that flit continually between,


Shriek to the echo, and the low winds moan,

There the true Silence is, self-conscious and alone.

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Analysis

This Sonnet, by Thomas Hood, goes deeper into the meaning of silence. Using a changing rhyme schema and vivid imagery, this poem makes the reader think about where silence is found and what happens when it is. Partway through the poem, the author shifts from taking about where silence is, to where silence is not. This helps us to realize the silence we know may not be real. It makes the poet think, "have I ever experienced true silence?"

Theme

Silence is Golden. This poem is trying to convey the importance and how rare silence is. Silence is only found in places that humans have not contaminated, and in places where man is, silence can not be truly found. However, when man gets close to the silence we will never experience, seemingly impossible things occur.
Thomas Hood's Silence
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