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Tennyson Poems

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Tennyson Poems by Alfred Lord Tennyson
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Often parodied as a complacent patriarch of the Victorian establishment, laureate to the royal court and the Queen's favourite living poet, Tennyson was in fact a sensitive, shy and complex character whose early life was dominated by family drama, financial ruin, melancholia and unhappy love. His first love was a man who died young, his second a woman who rejected him. His father was a depressive alcoholic, one of his brothers went mad, and the 'black blood of the Tennysons' was notorious in the family's home county of Lincolnshire. Many of his poems reflect these themes. Though capable of rendering rapture and delight in the most exquisite verse, in another mode Tennyson is the brother in spirit of Poe and Baudelaire, the author of dark, passionate and even morbid reveries. A master of the short, intense lyric, he can also be sardonic, humorous, voluptuous, earthy and satirical. Deeply read in the classics, a metrical virtuoso who treasured poetic tradition, his work nevertheless engages directly with the great issues of his time: industrialization, democracy, the crisis of faith, scientific progress, women's rights and social problems. The last English laureate who was able to write official poems which were also great works of art, he has the scope of nineteenth-century English novelists and the intensity of their Russian contemporaries. This selection takes poems from all periods and aspects of Tennyson's life. In addition to lesser-known items it includes celebrated party pieces such as The Lady of Shalott and The Charge of the Light Brigade. There are extracts from all the major masterpieces - The Princess, In Memoriam, Idylls of the King - and several complete longer poems which demonstrate his mastery of narrative. Finally, there are many of the short lyrical poems for which he is still justly celebrated.
Release date NZ
March 4th, 2004
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
Everyman's Library
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