Silence

By Thomas Hood 1799–1845 Thomas Hood
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 palaces, 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.

Source: Poets of the English Language

(Viking Press, 1950)

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Poet Thomas Hood 1799–1845

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Romantic

Subjects Time & Brevity, Living, Social Commentaries

Poetic Terms Sonnet

 Thomas  Hood

Biography

An editor, publisher, poet, and humorist, Thomas Hood was born in London, the son of a bookseller. After his father died in 1811, Hood worked in a countinghouse until an illness forced him to move to Dundee, Scotland, to recover with relatives. In 1818 he returned to London to work as an engraver. In 1824 Hood married Jane Reynolds and collaborated on Odes and Addresses with his brother-in-law, J.H. Reynolds. Though he was . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Time & Brevity, Living, Social Commentaries

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Romantic

Poetic Terms Sonnet

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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