Barbara Hardy

Barbara Hardy a professor of English at Birkbeck College, London, is the author of several books, including The Advantage of Lyric. Particularities, a collection of her essays and lectures on George Eliot, is to be published next year.

Poem: ‘Julia and the Time Machine’

Barbara Hardy, 3 February 1983

She pushes back her hair behind her ears As I have seen her do over the years Staring beyond me with a slaty gaze While she talks about an experiment On the child’s sense of times and distances.

Piaget says space is a still of time And time’s the name we give to moving space Julia has designed a time machine Using a beach buggy and a forklift truck Green and red matchbox cars to...

Poem: ‘The Fox and the Duck’

Barbara Hardy, 17 September 1981

As I walk down to the shore at daybreak You cross my path, old softstepper, Just by the Tor where we’ve often smelt you. Making tracks for your earth and cubs, Back from the saltmarsh and watermeadows Cradling a mallard in your mouth.

Surprised by me you drop the duck, Present me with your proper prey, Avert eyes and quicken trot To become a part of the browning bracken As I pick up the...

Shuffling off

John Sutherland, 18 April 1985

The Victorian novelists are commonly supposed to have been soft on the subject of death: ‘one would need a heart of stone not to laugh at the death of Little Nell’ is the best-known...

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