Thomas Hardy and his wife Emma were married for a very long time. However, Hardy took his wife for granted and always knew she would be there when he returned from a walk. When Emma died, Hardy realised his mistakes and missed her being around. Their marriage started sweet but ended sour. Hardy presents his feelings of loss through the tone of the poem, the structure of the poem, the setting of the poem and the language techniques used.
The tone of 'The Walk' is very sad and lonely throughout the whole poem: 'You did not walk with me/Of late to the hill-top tree/By the gated ways,' The sad tone emphasises Hardy's feeling of loss as he is upset that he has lost his wife and regrets the way their marriage ended up. Hardy's loneliness is shown when he quotes: 'You were weak and lame/So you never came,' This means Hardy went out without his wife's company and was alone even though they could have gone out together, Emma was too ill to go but Hardy went out anyway. .
The structure of the first stanza in 'The Walk' is set out like a pathway which illustrates an image of the walk Hardy took. This helps the poem become more interesting to read as we can picture Hardy on his walks whilst reading the poem. Another structural technique used by Hardy is enjambment: 'I walked up there today/Just in the former way' This makes the poem run smoothly and flows the lines of the poem together. It also gives another winding effect as the sentences wind round onto the next line which also illustrates the walks Hardy went on. .
The language techniques used by Hardy are personal pronouns to show the feeling of how he is speaking directly to his wife. He uses the word 'you' to demonstrate this. In the first stanza he uses 'you' to explain how he always left his wife when she needed him most. But, in the second stanza he uses 'I' to show how lonely he is when he walks without his wife.