‘When I could answer he did not say them: when I could let him know how I would like to join in his journeys seldom he wishes to go’. He writes from his wife’s point of view, and she says this. It is as though there are so many questions that he wanted to ask her, so many things that he wanted to sort out, and he never did this when she was still alive, yet when she is gone he feels deep regret and wants to ask her now. This brings out the idea that one misses something a lot more when it has gone. In each poem he writes his wife is very near to him, yet he doesn’t know this.
I think that he is almost trying to make her be near him, again in his poems because he misses her so greatly. This is shown by the nature of both poems, because of the way in which she silently watches over him, and will never be able to communicate to him again, not in words, or actions. Yet in his poems, she does almost communicate with him, by sending feelings, and through his dreams. In dreams, someone does not have to be alive, it is as though she is there with him in his dreams, as that is the only place he will ever see her again.
In The Haunter poem his wife says: ‘Yes I companion him to places, Only dreamers do’. This part of the verse clearly portrays him seeing his wife in his dreams, seeing his wife again is almost a dream to him. In both of the poems Hardy visits places that he used to visit with his wife again in these poems, whether it is through his memories, through his wife’s memories, and in The Haunter, through his dreams. This is bringing back memories from the past to him, places that he wants to go again with his wife; this again is another regret of his.
This piece is from The Phantom Horsewoman: ‘He comes and stands In a careworn craze, And looks at the sands And the seaward haze With moveless hands And face and gaze, Then turns to go… ‘ This poem describes him visiting a point by the sea that he and his wife used to go when she was still alive. He goes there and just stands, he does not cry, he just stands, emotionless and motionless and just stands. This is almost remembering the past, and his wife is there with him. This is such a deep loss that he almost hasn’t come to terms with it yet.