'Trooped Apparitions'

Hardy and the Boer War

in Critical Survey

Thomas Hardy’s striking Boer War poem, ‘The Souls of the Slain’, suggests a number of possible readings: formalist, historical and philosophical, readings which complement and contradict each other in their framings of this dissonant text. The poem may be identified formally as an elegy which functions by transgressing its own genre. At the outset the poet conjures up an ominous and elegiac seascape

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