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In Memoriam
In Memoriam | Baron Alfred Tennyson Tennyson, Medici Society
8 posts | 1 read | 2 to read
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Bookwomble
In Memoriam | Baron Alfred Tennyson Tennyson, Medici Society
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Tennyson fell out of favour in the early 20th century, not unnaturally, I guess, as what can you do with the dominant figure of English poetry of the previous generation other than rebel against it? I find a lot of Tennyson's poetry overwrought and staid, but In Memoriam swept me away. I've been dealing with bereavement a lot recently, both personally and at work, and In Memoriam resonates strongly with those experiences. 👇🏼

Bookwomble Sharing loss and grief with empathy, understanding and without judgement is a powerful anodyne, and Tennyson's images and sentiments are a balm. The poem draws upon nature, the elements, human evolution (before Darwin published On the Origin of Species), deep geologic time, Christianity, doubt, family and society - incredibly wide-ranging. 👇🏼 3mo
Bookwomble There's also definite current of same-sex romantic love, commented upon by critics at the time of publication, 1850.If I read anything as good as In Memoriam this year, I won't read anything better. 3mo
TrishB Great review. 3mo
Bookwomble @TrishB Ta 😉 3mo
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quote
Bookwomble
In Memoriam | Baron Alfred Tennyson Tennyson, Medici Society
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If all your office had to do
With old results that look like new;
If this were all your mission here,
To draw, to sheathe a useless sword,
To fool the crowd with glorious lies,
To cleave a creed in sects and cries,
To change the bearing of a word,
To shift an arbitrary power,
To cramp the student at his desk,
To make old barreness picturesque
And tuft with grass a feudal tower;
Why then my scorn might well descend
On you and yours.

- Verse CXXVII

kathedron I know my scorn is here somewhere, but I'm having difficulty finding it under all the rage. 3mo
CarolynM Very apt. 3mo
Bookwomble @kathedron I think Johnson and his ilk feed off anger and wallow in the bad opinion of the people they exploit. I do wish that I could find a greater store of compassion in myself, as the only explanation I can come up with for their behaviour is a deep emotional/spiritual hurt. 3mo
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Bookwomble @CarolynM Sadly so, 170 years after he wrote it. 3mo
kathedron I hear you. I wish I wanted to be more compassionate, because the rage doesn't help anyone. And according to my own philosophy, if I have an abundance of empathy or just the capacity for acknowledging that the world is not and should not be made in my image, should I not share that with those who have less? But I find myself reluctant to give to those who already appear to think of taking only for themselves. Round and round it goes. 3mo
Bookwomble @kathedron I go around that roundabout, too! I'm presently disgusted by Aaron Banks' "joke" in which he contemplates the death of Greta Thunberg by drowning! A middle-aged billionaire laughing at the thought of a child drowning?! And his Brexit cronies defending him! It's hard not to fume about these things ? 3mo
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Bookwomble
In Memoriam | Baron Alfred Tennyson Tennyson, Medici Society
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"Long sleeps the summer in the seed."

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Bookwomble
In Memoriam | Baron Alfred Tennyson Tennyson, Medici Society
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There's nothing I don't like about this verse 💗

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Bookwomble
In Memoriam | Baron Alfred Tennyson Tennyson, Medici Society
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"I hold it true, whate're befall;
I feel it, when I sorrow most;
'Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all."

The last two lines have passed into common usage, and I'd always thought of them in terms of romantic love, but finding their context is in bereavement gives them a deeper dimension for me. ?

Cathythoughts 👍🏻♥️💔Love 3mo
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Bookwomble
In Memoriam | Baron Alfred Tennyson Tennyson, Medici Society
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I've walked two miles to the library to return the last Maigret I finished - trying to use the car less and get more steps in! Treating myself to a coffee (tempted, but no cake!) and a quiet read of Tennyson before I walk back.
#booksandcoffee

Suet624 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽 3mo
24 likes1 comment
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Bookwomble
In Memoriam | Baron Alfred Tennyson Tennyson, Medici Society
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"Sphere all your lights around, above;
Sleep, gentle heavens, before the prow;
Sleep, gentle winds, as he sleeps now.
My friend, the brother of my love;"

Tennyson imagines the voyage of the ship bringing the "dark freight" of the body of his friend, Arthur Henry Hallam, who died in Italy, aged 22. 'In Memoriam' is credited as the epitome of the Victorian poetic spirit, and it still resonates for me in its exploration of grief.

Cathythoughts This is a beautiful post 👍🏻♥️ 3mo
TrishB Lovely ♥️ 3mo
19 likes2 comments
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Bookwomble
In Memoriam | Baron Alfred Tennyson Tennyson, Medici Society
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And, a 1914 limited edition of Tennyson's In Memoriam. I think you can just about see on the bottom photo the watermark each alternate page bears. It's not a particularly decorative edition, but the paper quality is fantastic. Hardly any foxing, crisply textured, a creamy colour and a nice clear font that's easy on the eye. A bit more expensive than my other purchases yesterday, but still a snip at £5.00. 😊 📖