By Sterling Professor of the Humanities Harold Bloom

Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-92) used to be born in Lincolnshire, the 6th of 11 childrens of a priest. After a adolescence marked by way of trauma, he went as much as Cambridge in 1828, the place he met Arthur Hallam, whose untimely dying had an enduring impact on Tennyson's lifestyles and writing. His volumes of Poems (1842) demonstrated him because the prime poet of his iteration, and of the Victorian interval. He used to be created Poet Laureate in 1850 and in 1883 authorised a peerage. In T. S. Eliot's phrases, 'He has 3 traits that are seldom stumbled 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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J. Fox was a newspaper and literary critic. The following extract for the Westminster Review, one of London’s leading journals, highly praises Tennyson’s first published collection. Fox remarks on the natural, sincere, honest, and thoughtful qualities presented by the poet in his verse, his originality and poetic harmonies. Critics would still be praising Tennyson’s lyric grace at the end of his poetic career at the end of the nineteenth century, along with the poet’s capacity to move his readership through the philosophical insight contained in his works.

Both the poet’s eye General 31 and ear for detail, his lyrics’ images and tone, are praised. Those critics who attack Tennyson for being simply a “rhapsodist,” or a passionate singer alone, are called to account for their own inability to see the profound meaning in the poet’s art. Whipple’s review is certainly full of the highest praise, but it should be of interest to those readers in search of critical disagreement over poetics generally, and Tennyson’s verse specifically, in the middle years of the nineteenth century.

At length, raising himself from his lethargy, he rises, looks forth—it is the Sabbath morn, and, as he sees the peaceful multitudes moving on to the house of God, and as, like the Anciente Mariner, he “blesses them unaware,” straightway the spell is broken, the “dull and bitter voice is gone,” and, hark! A second voice is at his ear, A little whisper, silver-clear, and it gives him a hidden and humble hope, which spreads a quiet heaven within his soul. Now he can go forth into the fields, and Wonder at the bounteous hours, The slow result of winter showers, You scarce can see the grass for flowers.

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