By Sterling Professor of the Humanities Harold Bloom
Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-92) was once born in Lincolnshire, the 6th of 11 youngsters of a priest. After a formative years marked by way of trauma, he went as much as Cambridge in 1828, the place he met Arthur Hallam, whose untimely dying had a long-lasting effect on Tennyson's existence and writing. His volumes of Poems (1842) verified him because the best poet of his new release, and of the Victorian interval. He was once created Poet Laureate in 1850 and in 1883 authorised a peerage. In T. S. Eliot's phrases, 'He has 3 traits that are seldom chanced on jointly other than within the maximum poets: abundance, sort and whole competence. He had the best ear of any English poet due to the fact that Milton.'
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Extra resources for Alfred, Lord Tennyson (Bloom's Classic Critical Views)
Readers might also note that Fuller, like so many of her contemporaries in both Great Britain and the United States, felt that she “found herself” in Tennyson’s poetic characters and in his poetry’s portrayal of life. QQQ I have just been reading the new poems of Tennyson. Much has he thought, much suffered, since the first ecstasy of so fine an organization clothed all the world with rosy light. He has not suffered himself to become a mere intellectual voluptuary, nor the songster of fancy and passion, but has earnestly revolved the problems of life, and his conclusions are calmly noble.
The simplicity, the barrenness of ornament, in some of his lines, are as much the result of contrivance as his most splendid images. With what labor, for instance, with what attentive watching of consciousness, must the following stanza have been wrought into shape:— All those sharp fancies, by down-lapsing thought Streamed onward, lost their edges, and did creep, Rolled on each other, rounded, smoothed and brought Into the gulfs of sleep. This intense intellectual action is displayed in his delineations of nature and individual character, as well as in his subjective gropings into the refinements of his consciousness.
The review, as a consequence, is of as much benefit to the reader as a critical analysis of Tennyson’s early verse. It is also a marker of the values of a generation that, by the end of the century and Tennyson’s life, would be long deceased. The five “distinctive excellencies” identified by Hallam at the conclusion to the extract are also of note. The first three—the poet’s imagination, his portrayal of characters’ moods, and his accuracy in depicting objects in vivid detail—would be poetic traits associated in later years, and to Tennyson’s detriment, with his great rival Robert Browning.