Tennyson: A great Poet
Tennyson: A great Poet
Lord Tennyson is undoubtedly the greatest poet of the Victorian era. His poetry effectively expresses the spirit of the age. He was not only a poet but the voice of his age. He wedded art to life. He tried to evolve a compromise between science and religion. His ‘In Memoriam’ offered him a great acclaim.
Alfred, Lord Tennyson was born on August 06, 1809, at Somersby Rectory, Lincolnshire. He was educated at Louth in his childhood. In 1828 he went up to Trinity College, Cambridge. In 1829 he won the Chancellor’s English medal for a poem named 'Timbuctoo.' In Trinity College he met Arthur Hallam who became his most intimate friend. In 1831 he left Cambridge. And after that the excessive devotion to tobacco he started suffering from ill health. In the meantime the news of the sudden death of Arthur Hallam came to him in September 1833. It was a great shock to Tennyson. It was the greatest personal tragedy in Tennyson’s life. Then to express his grief, he began writing ‘In Memoriam.’ This composition appeared as a long philosophic poem. In this immortal composition Tennyson took the universal questions of life and death to discuss. It earned him the reputation of being the representative poet of his age.
The year 1850 appeared as a happy year in Tennyson’s life. In this year he made his happy marriage; he published 'In Memoriam'; and he accepted the Laureateship after Wordsworth’s death. From this time his life ran smoothly and tranquilly to the end. This great soul departed from this material world in 1892.
Tennyson’s first collection ‘Poems by Two Brothers’ appeared in 1827. Among his longer poems the more famous are ‘Maud and Other Poems’, ‘Idylls of the King’ and ‘Enoch Arden’. The other poems which have found a permanent place in English literature are ‘The Two Voices’, The Lotus Eaters’, The Lady of Shalott’, ‘Morte d’Arthur’, ‘Locksley Hall’, ‘Ulysses’ and ‘The Princess’.
Lord Tennyson often reminds us of John Keats. He has the same gifts of pictorial presentation and an astonishing command of the musical resources of the language. The sound of his words echoes the sense. Tennyson, a meticulous artist, labored hard to perfect his poems in diction, in imagery and in melodious rhythm. His similes and alliteration are very effective. His experiment with rhythm and metre are also praiseworthy.