Alfred, Lord Tennyson (Bloom's Classic Critical Views) by Sterling Professor of the Humanities Harold Bloom

By Sterling Professor of the Humanities Harold Bloom

Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-92) used to be born in Lincolnshire, the 6th of 11 kids of a priest. After a youth marked through trauma, he went as much as Cambridge in 1828, the place he met Arthur Hallam, whose untimely demise had a long-lasting effect on Tennyson's existence and writing. His volumes of Poems (1842) validated him because the prime poet of his iteration, and of the Victorian interval. He used to be created Poet Laureate in 1850 and in 1883 authorised a peerage. In T. S. Eliot's phrases, 'He has 3 traits that are seldom came across jointly other than within the maximum poets: abundance, type and entire competence. He had the best ear of any English poet when you consider that Milton.'

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Example text

QQQ Tennyson is more simply the songster than any poet of our time. With him the delight of musical expression is first, the thought second. ” A love-song I had somewhere read, An echo from a measured strain, Beat time to nothing in my head From some odd corner of the brain. It haunted me, the morning long, With weary sameness in the rhymes, The phantom of a silent song, That went and came a thousand times. So large a proportion of even the good poetry of our time is either overethical or over-passionate, and the stock poetry is so deeply tainted with a sentimental egotism, that this, whose chief merits lay in its melody and picturesque power, was most refreshing.

I saw the little boys for a short time; I had met them in a donkey cart near Coniston during my walk. Mrs. Marshall sent over the books in the course of the evening, and Mr. and Mrs. Tennyson admired some of them so much that I have strong hopes of ultimately getting a sitting from the poet, though I have not yet ventured to ask for it. Some of the photographs called out a good deal of fun on Mr. Tennyson’s part. The picture of Skeffington in a fishing costume, he said, had the expression, (stroking down his beard as he spoke) ‘Well!

J. Fox, “Tennyson’s Poems,” Westminster Review, January 1831, p. 214 Arthur Henry Hallam “Extract from a Review of Tennyson’s Poems” () Arthur Henry Hallam was an English poet and Tennyson’s closest friend. The two young men had met while at Cambridge University, and Hallam became engaged to marry Tennyson’s sister. He died suddenly in Vienna of a brain hemorrhage while traveling with his father at the age of 22. His death had a profound effect on Tennyson, to the extent that some critics and biographers have questioned the nature of the two men’s relationship (by far the majority agree that it was platonic, if unusually close).

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