Both the tone and diction throughout the poem is consistently depressing.
The theme of “Neutral Tones” is that love is not always what one would expect it to be.
I’d go as far as to say it’s very typical of Hardy in general – he’s certainly a man who doesn’t shy away from the miserable and depressing.
Marriage, religion and education all come under attack, and his depiction of several miserable marriages doesn’t leave readers with much faith in love.
The first and fourth line of each stanza rhyme, while the second and third line of each stanza rhyme.
Each line is short enough to be spoken with a single breath, and the last line of each stanza is slightly indented."Like an ominous bird a-wing..."(12) foretells her leaving him.He is seeing in her forced grin an omen of bad luck.Using the word “that” clues the reader in that the day being reflected upon was one of great importance to the speaker.Being that “winter” has a negative connotation as the depressing season, the tone is further set by mentioning the time of year; winter is lonely, frigid, and dormant. We apologize for any inconvenience, and thank you for your visiting.“Neutral Tones,” a poem written by Thomas Hardy, is composed of four stanzas with each stanza consisting of four lines.has some similar ideas and themes that Sheers picks up to explore in his poem, although this poem does not, of course, finish happily.In terms of form, the poem is very straightforward: four stanzas of four lines.Her smile appears deader to him than the fallen leaves do."Alive enough to have strength to die; /And a grin of bitterness swept thereby " (10-11).