Poetry As A Reflection Of The Inner Being

2389 words - 10 pages

Alfred Tennyson gifted the Victorian Era, and the literary world with two iconic poems. The author explored the themes of personal development and culture clash in one of his most famous poems, “Ulysses”. Tennyson also discovered and analyzed the themes of love and death through his renowned and eminent poem, “Tears Idle, Tears”. The poet was born in Somersby, Lincolnshire in 1809 in the East Lindy district of England. Tennyson experienced numerous amounts of difficulties in his childhood and growing adolescent phases that spilled into his adult life. These trials and tribulations became a foundation and source of inspiration for Tennyson, who used them as a stimulus and catalyst to aide his literary progress and ideas. Two of the most prominent poems that Tennyson wrote were “Ulysses “and “Tears Idle, Tears”. These poems defined the peak of his literary endeavor and symbolized the struggles that Tennyson had experienced in his life. Throughout time readers have been able to distinguish a direct correlation between his life journey and the poems he crafted.
During Tennyson’s childhood and maturing adulthood he endured tempestuous events which altered the course of his life and the essence of literary career. The death of his best friend, Hallem, threw him into a phase of darkness, solitude and despair. It was “a period referred to as his ‘”ten years silence”‘(Napierkowski and Rose 270); he was extremely affected by the death “for it shattered all his life and made him desire to die rather than live” (Napierkowski and Rose 270). The potent emotion surrounding death was modeled in his poem Tears Idle, Tears. The poet identified “the source of his poems emotion as rising from his feelings about the death of his college friend…Hallam who had a profound influence on Tennyson’s life and work” (Napierkowski and Rose 271). The poem expands and illustrates the idea of death, which is perceived as a parallel to the death of Tennyson’s friend. Being so affected by the demise of his friend Tennyson departed from the literary world for ten years, but those isolated years filled his wounds and instilled him with bursting fresh and fiery motivation to write iconic poems that would be able to accurately project and display his new and profound enthusiasm and emotions. The poem Ulysses was written after his years of solitude proving to be a huge breakthrough for Tennyson. The writer also related “his friends death to his tale of Ulysses’ desire to return to a life of adventure on the sea” ” (Napierkowski and Rose 271). Being induced and rejuvenated with passion and invigoration after his pause, Tennyson felt brave about going forward and dissolving the struggles of his life. Similarly, the character Ulysses is injected with a fresh and new excitement about experiencing life. As noted, “the speaker in (Ulysses) is braving life’s struggles to some extent…in what some have called a selfish pursuit of adventure” (Napierkowski and Rose 272). This adventure can be...

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