A Broken Appointment by Hardy

The poem ‘A Broken Appointment’ is a love poem. It is a lyrical poem in which Hardy expresses his tragic experience of love. In the poem, we see a frustrated lover. He is in the mood of despondency or nervousness. He is separated from his beloved. Tryphena sparks, with whom he had fallen temporarily in love.

A Broken Appointment

The poem consists of two stanzas of eight lines each. In the first stanza, we see that the lover has waited for his beloved for a long time. The beloved had promised him to meet. They had decided to meet at a place. The lover believed that as per the appointment his beloved would definitely come and meet him at the decided place. So he kept waiting for her but she did not come. She betrayed the lover by breaking the appointment. The lover had got tired by waiting continuously for his beloved. He found that his beloved had deceived him. So he became more nervous and felt the separation from her too intensely.

In the second stanza, the poet says that his beloved did not love him heartily. She had no loyalty towards her lover. He also came to know that once upon a time his beloved had tried to bring comfort to his broken heart but now she has not cared for him at all. Hence he finds that she is not in love with him at all.

The poem ‘A Broken Appointment‘ belongs to the group of love poems of Hardy. In this poem, we see the tragedy of a lover caused due to the disloyalty of his beloved. In this poem, Hardy records his first feelings of love. He had fallen in love with Tryphena Sparks temporarily. Tryphena Sparks was a very charming and beautiful lady. The poet was attracted to her. Their love for each other was deep and sincere. However, due to some unknown reasons, they had a bitter and tragic experience of love.
The poem has autobiographical sense. Hardy was temporarily engaged to Tryphena. But the relation ended in tension and bitterness. Due to some quarrel, the lovers got separated from each other. They were frustrated with each other.

In the poem, the poet expresses his sorrowful mood. He recalls a meeting proposed between him and his beloved. The beloved had promised to meet him at the decided place. The poet believed in her words and kept waiting for her for a long time. He got tired of her waiting but she did not come. And hence he became
highly nervous. He found that his beloved had no heart at all. She had no pity and compassion. She was but a disloyal woman who broke the appointment and who ultimately broke his heart also. It was a very tragic experience on the part of the lover. He found her so dishonest that he even could not believe that such a young woman had tried to bring comfort and solace to his broken heart sometimes in the past.
He found her to be an utterly deceptive woman. No doubt, the poem represents the broken heart of the poet because of the false game of love played by his beloved.

A. Attempt essay type answers to the following :
1. Discuss fully the thought of the lover leading to tragedy expressed in the poem, ‘A Broken Appointment.’
2. “Hardy`s love experience was that of a lover who was heart-broken, pessimistic and nervous”. Explain this, with reference to the poem ‘A Broken Appointment.’
B. Write short notes on the following :
1. The central idea of the poem, ‘A Broken Appointment.’
2. The appropriateness of the title, ‘A Broken Appointment.’
3. The thought of love frustration in the poem, ‘A Broken Appointment.’


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