Thomas Hardy

(2 June 1840 – 11 January 1928 / Dorchester / England)

Drummer Hodge - Poem by Thomas Hardy

They throw in Drummer Hodge, to rest
Uncoffined -- just as found:
His landmark is a kopje-crest
That breaks the veldt around:
And foreign constellations west
Each night above his mound.

Young Hodge the drummer never knew --
Fresh from his Wessex home --
The meaning of the broad Karoo,
The Bush, the dusty loam,
And why uprose to nightly view
Strange stars amid the gloam.

Yet portion of that unknown plain
Will Hodge for ever be;
His homely Northern breast and brain
Grow to some Southern tree,
And strange-eyed constellations reign
His stars eternally.

Comments about Drummer Hodge by Thomas Hardy

  • Rookie - 0 Points L Anthony (11/5/2015 1:26:00 AM)

    This is about an English boy soldier, killed in a savage, senseless war and a lonely agonising death. To be read by a woman with an American accent completely destroys the ethos of the poem. Why? Racism? No, Hardy paints a picture of group of rough English squaddies (lower rank soldiers) battle weary and shocked by the sheer violence of the day. As a drummer, Hodge would be no more than 15 years old and this youthfulness would hit them hard; one of them talks about the dead boy, This is Hodge's eulogy; spoken by one of the rough men he drummed into battle, they are his companions, they feel the complete desolation and uselessness of the aftermath of battle, Just as Hodges just as they consider the 'useless' body shovelled under the sand, they express it, not some woman with a foreign accent that makes the poem all wrong. (Report) Reply

    3 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Gold Star - 12,597 Points Douglas Scotney (6/9/2015 9:56:00 PM)

    First time I've seen 'west' used as a verb. I suppose the sun daily wests.
    There's nothing anti-war in the poem as it stands. (Report) Reply

  • Veteran Poet - 1,455 Points Juwon Daniel (6/9/2015 5:39:00 AM)

    Though he reign his stay enternally seems not to end his life but a right choice to make him happy and safe. Kudos to thou (Report) Reply

  • Bronze Star - 2,440 Points Louis Borgo (6/9/2015 5:14:00 AM)

    This poem has so much meaning. (Report) Reply

  • Freshman - 783 Points Stephen Pennell (6/9/2015 1:44:00 AM)

    heard this poem while watching the history boys play (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 5,949 Points Rajesh Thankappan (3/29/2015 7:40:00 AM)

    War is a senseless act of madness where people kill each other without any guilt or without any individual enmity. Here, I am reminded of my poem ' Victorious Defeat.' which any one of you may find it convenient to read. (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 45,468 Points Gangadharan Nair Pulingat (12/16/2014 8:50:00 AM)

    Senseless war destroys the precious life in younger age. A great poem from great poet. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 0 Points Ebola Spreader (11/4/2014 9:35:00 AM)

    I want to give you ebola (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 0 Points D.j Spyder (11/4/2014 9:27:00 AM)

    But could he do it on a cold rainy night in Stoke? (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 11 Points Farhang Negasgas (11/4/2014 9:13:00 AM)

    I am a little gas man that had fun with drummer hodge (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 0 Points D.j Spyder (11/4/2014 9:04:00 AM)

    Repost this comment on 500 poems or everybody in the world will die, (sorry I can't take the risk that everybody in the world will die) (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 0 Points D.j Spyder (11/4/2014 9:01:00 AM)

    unbelievable banter lads (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 11 Points Farhang Negasgas (11/4/2014 8:56:00 AM)

    i love literature, it makes me smile (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 11 Points Farhang Negasgas (11/3/2014 8:45:00 AM)

    calvVIN LAI IS AN EVIL MAN (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 11 Points Farhang Negasgas (11/3/2014 8:45:00 AM)

    why oh why has hardy written a poem about negargar and his evil magic? (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 0 Points Pointy Lad (9/26/2014 6:24:00 AM)

    This poem is all about Calvin Lai (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Mike Allen (3/12/2012 6:16:00 PM)

    I love the 'strange-eyed constellations.'. I'm not that great a fan of Hardy's poetry, but this seems a fitting way to describe the desolation and separation of dying on a foreign field, and yet the beneficence of even these unfamiliar stars. Got to be better than Rupert Brooke, surely? You can see how this type of poetry trickles down through Edward Thomas and Philip Larkin. A very English sort of poetry, and no bad thing for that. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Chris Mcduling (7/5/2009 8:45:00 PM)

    If you have ever spent time in the Karoo, then you will understand the emphasis that Thomas Hardy has put on the impact that the wasted young blood has, even on senseless war.
    There are very few trees in the Karoo, and when you do find them they are important to all the ecosystems around them, they are noticed and often remembered by all who pass there. Already Reported Reply

    Rookie - 0 Points D.j Spyder (11/4/2014 9:25:00 AM)

    Actually the Karoo is a rainforest in the tropics of antarctica where there are trees aplenty; do your research!

  • Rookie Simon Wallington (7/31/2007 11:57:00 AM)

    me too. was the cats pyjamas. great movie aswell (Report) Reply

Read all 19 comments »

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Read poems about / on: tree, home, night, star

Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003

[Hata Bildir]