*Ah, Are You Digging on My Grave?*, by Thomas HArdy
Transcript *Ah, Are You Digging on My Grave?*, by Thomas HArdy
April 8, 2013
Thomas Hardy was born June 2, 1840 in Higher
Bockhampton, Dorset, England. His father was a
self employed mason and building contractor. His
mother was a former maidservant and cook.
Hardy’s mother taught him how to read before
he was four, and implanted an ever-growing love
for literature. His father was a dedicated violin
player, and passed on a love for music to
Thomas. He enjoyed Greek and Roman classics.
He also read stories from the Romantic period.
His favorite authors were William Harrison
Ainsworth, Walter Scott, and Alexander Dumas.
In 1870, he met Emma Lavinia Gifford, who
encouraged Hardy to write poetry and
fiction. They got married September 17,
1874. Emma died November 27, 1912. He
then again got married to Florence Dugdale
on February 6, 1914. During WWI, Hardy, who
was in his seventies, visited military hospitals
and POW camps.
He died January 11, 1928. Hardy had two
simultaneous funerals. One funeral, he was
cremated and placed in the Poet’s Corner in
Westminster Abbey, London, England. The
other funeral, was where they buried his
heart alongside his first wife, Emma, in
Stinsford, Dorchester, England.
In 1917, WWI was ending, starting the Russian
Revolution. During this time, Russia was
removed from war and this brought the
transformation of the Russian Empire and
woman’s dead body is talking from her
grave thinking that whoever it is digging at
her grave is mourning her when it all, it was
only her dog burying its bone.
Thomas Hardy uses irony, repetition,
personification, and rhyme to create a funny
poem about death.
theme of the poem is life goes on.
People are forgotten after they die.
The tone of the poem is humor. Thomas
Hardy uses repetitive questions to create this
Some examples are “Ah, are you digging up
my grave my loved one,” “Then who is
digging up my grave? My nearest dearest
kin,” and “But some one digs upon my grave?
My enemy? – prodding sly?”
such as “my loved one,” “my nearest
dearest kin,” and “my enemy” all allude to
the theme of the poem. These lines allude to
the theme because each time she brought up
a new person, in hopes of getting it right,
she got it wrong.
Those same lines and the fact that she
steadily got them wrong also creates the
poet uses figurative language to make
the poem more whimsical. This can catch
and keep the reader’s attention.
An example throughout the poem is
personification. You may not realize this, but
you have to remember that the woman is
dead and dogs do not talk.
poet uses poetic devices to make the
poem easier to read. This also keeps the
An example of a poetic device is the rhyme
scheme of the poem, which is ABCCCB.
The poet uses imagery in the second stanza
to create a scene for readers. (“…they sit
and think, ‘What use! What good…)
the first stanza, the woman wants to know
if her husband (loved one) is coming to show
sorrow (planting rue), but her husband
In the second stanza, the woman wanted to
know if it was a family member (nearest
dearest kin), but it wasn’t.
In the third stanza, the woman asks if it was
her enemy being mischievous (prodding sly),
but once her enemy found out the woman
died, the woman was no longer worth her
The fourth stanza, the woman asks once more,
and finds out it was her dog (“O it is I…”) who
hopes that what he does on her grave did not
The fifth stanza, she thinks that her dog was the
only one who actually cared to visit her grave
(“That one true heart was left behind…”). She
thought that her dog was her only best friend.
In the last stanza, she finds out that her dog
forgot about her too (“…I quite forgot it was
your resting place”). He was only there to bury a
use of irony, repetition, personification,
and rhyme creates a humorous poem about
The mood, theme, figurative language, and
poetic devices help understand the meaning
and readability of this poem by giving off end
rhymes, using personification, and setting
scenes in the poem to keep the reader’s
attention throughout the poem.
SparkNotes Editors. “SparkNote on The Russian
Revolution (1917–1918).” SparkNotes.com.
SparkNotes LLC. 2005. Web. 12 Apr. 2013.