Thomas Hardy really was a poet. But when he began to write poems in 1862, there were nobody to read them. Therefore, to attract an audience and to gain a good financial position he began to write novels with a determination. As he was trained as an architect in his life and pursued this profession for 11 years till he abandoned it in 1873, he showed the same skill in building his plots which made Under the Greenwood Tree, A Pair Of Blue Eyes, Far From The Maddening Crowd, The Return Of The Native, The Trumpet-Major, Two On A Tower and The Mayor Of Caster bridge unforgettable successes. The money gained thus from his novels made his life successful and this architect built a beautiful home for him in Dorchester in 1885. He mingled in the literary and social circles in London and made friendships with Browning, Matthew Arnold and Tennyson. After writing a few more novels including The Woodlanders, Tess and Jude The Obscure, he ended his novel-writing career in 1894.
Then this determined poet, after gaining countless number of readers through novels, in 1898 began publishing the equally countless number of poems written through the years. They were as varied as poems on Nature and Man, Love, The Past and the Present of His Life, Poems Dramatic and Personative and Ballads and Narrative Poems. Nobody knew they were written many years back. The unknowing critics of his times considered his first volume of poetry as the mere caprice of an ageing novelist who would do better to stick to prose. He was sad about this and noted in his Life that many of these verses were written before their author dreamt of novels. He wrote, the date of publication is but an accident in the life of a literary creation and it denotes only when the contents start into being for the outside public. He always regarded him as a poet who had to write novels for a living. His poems are held in high esteem for their rich musical content. The poem on the British bombardments on the 'Valencieen' will still look written yesterday, if the single word is replaced with Vietnaaam. Other poems also are equally musical.