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 early life marked via 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 existence and writing. His volumes of Poems (1842) validated him because the major poet of his iteration, 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 features that are seldom came across jointly other than within the maximum poets: abundance, type and entire competence. He had the best ear of any English poet due to the fact Milton.'
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Extra resources for Alfred, Lord Tennyson (Bloom's Classic Critical Views)
Whipple states that Tennyson is the poetic successor to Percy Bysshe Shelley, in terms of his ability to see clearly and insightfully and to eschew passion for intellectual intensity. The extract examines the manner in which each of Tennyson’s poems is a unity, with no baroque ornamentation, no unnecessary details or decoration, every idea, image and word an integral part of the whole. No detail could be removed from Tennyson’s verse without operating to the detriment of the poem. Both the poet’s eye General 31 and ear for detail, his lyrics’ images and tone, are praised.
214 Arthur Henry Hallam “Extract from a Review of Tennyson’s Poems” () Arthur Henry Hallam was an English poet and Tennyson’s closest friend. The two young men had met while at Cambridge University, and Hallam became engaged to marry Tennyson’s sister. He died suddenly in Vienna of a brain hemorrhage while traveling with his father at the age of 22. His death had a profound effect on Tennyson, to the extent that some critics and biographers have questioned the nature of the two men’s relationship (by far the majority agree that it was platonic, if unusually close).
Such a charge simply implies a lack in the critic’s mind, not in the poet’s. The latter always means something in everything he writes; and the form in which it is embodied is chosen with the most careful deliberation. It seems to us that the purely intellectual element in Tennyson’s poetry has been overlooked, owing perhaps to the fragility of some of his figures, and the dreaminess of outline apparent in others. Many think him to be a mere rhapsodist, fertile in nothing but a kind of melodious empiricism.