Presentation on theme: "In Memoriam Lord Alfred Tennyson. This poem, published in 1850, was written in memory of Tennysons friend, Arthur Henry Hallam who was engaged to marry."— Presentation transcript:
In Memoriam Lord Alfred Tennyson
This poem, published in 1850, was written in memory of Tennysons friend, Arthur Henry Hallam who was engaged to marry his sister but died of a stroke In Memoriam has 133 sections – this extract is section 7 The poem was written over 17 years, and is comprised of many short poems which he wove together It does not only concern Alfred, but also reflects on Tennysons philosophical ideas on religion, life, death, science and immortality In this Section, Tennyson is paying a visit to the house in which Arthur used to live Background to the Poem
Dark house, by which once more I stand Here in the long unlovely street, Doors, where my heart was used to beat So quickly, waiting for a hand Alliteration of long l sounds illustrates his extended grief and loneliness Harsh sounding rhyme street and beat reflects his pain Now Arthur has died, he has taken all the beauty with him – Tennyson sees everything as dark and dull due to his grief Commas slow the rhythm down, mirroring how his heart has also slowed – it doesnt beat quickly anymore Dark house = metaphor for death (the dark house of the tomb), the two words are stressed, creating a spondee but are also stressed by the use of the comma Doors is emphasised by the two commas, and may symbolise a border between life and death The unclasped hand is a sign that his friend is gone forever
A hand that can be claspd no more- Behold me, for I cannot sleep, And like a guilty thing I creep At earliest morning to the door. The reference to the unclasped hand spreads over two stanzas, displaying the distance between the two friends, or the distinction between life and death Morning = pun on mourning? The poet is feeling guilty so unable to sleep, but why?
He is not here; but far away The noise of life begins again, And ghastly thro the drizzling rain On bald street breaks the blank day. In each stanza, half the lines are indented and half are not, perhaps representing Tennysons distance from his friend The semi colon conveys the poets complicated, confused feelings This line is ambiguous, it has a different meaning if you pause it the end of the first line to if you carry on through The blank day could reflect his emptiness, but could also signify a blank slate or new beginning The rhythm of the last line contrasts with the rest of the poem, which could suggest he is coming to terms with the loss. The plosives sound harsh, mirroring the idea of him waking up and getting on with his life, although this may be painful