I’ve been looking at Hardy’s poetry in class recently and wrote a response to ‘At An Inn’. I won’t say who the narrator is, but it’s fairly obvious if you read ‘At An Inn’. It’s not the best poem I’ve written – I couldn’t be arsed to structure it properly so it’s practically prose-y diarrhea. So, here it is.
Reflections on the Night at an Inn
I sit as I sat then: white stockings
Sharp against the pine.
For hours my gaze would fix forward,
my nails left inscriptions in the floorboards –
a Virgin’s passion.
Whole days indoors with shutters closed. A stifling
veil, and desperately dim.
So, when you lifted my hand and touched it
to your mouth, you coaxed me from my Doll’s House
with sweet words – the ones I’d yearned for. I thought
to give myself to you, if I couldn’t be my own.
But no. The torch you held scorched me, both of us;
we blew it out together. Your touch was a pinprick,
your vacant voice a slurred monotone.
And there we sat. That room, a gap unbreached