Author's Name: Tennyson Alfred Lord
More than any other Victorian writer, Tennyson has seemed the embodiment of his age, both to his contemporaries and to modern readers. In his own day he was said to be—with Queen Victoria and Gladstone—one of the three most famous living persons, a reputation no other poet writing in English has ever had. As official poetic spokesman for the reign of Victoria, he felt called upon to celebrate a quickly changing industrial and mercantile world with which he felt little in common, for his deepest sympathies were called forth by an unaltered rural England; the conflict between what he thought of as his duty to society and his allegiance to the eternal beauty of nature seems peculiarly Victorian. Even his most severe critics have always recognized his lyric gift for sound and cadence, a gift probably unequaled in the history of English poetry, but one so absolute that it has sometimes been mistaken for mere facility.
As Poet Laureate during much of Queen Victoria's reign, Alfred Lord Tennyson's spellbinding poetry epitomized the Victorian age, and Selected Poems is edited with an introduction and notes by Christopher Ricks.
'Into the jaw of Death
Into the mouth of Hell
Rode the six hundred'
The works in this volume trace nearly sixty years in the literary career of one of the nineteenth century's greatest poets, and show the wide variety of poetic forms he mastered. This selection gives some of Tennyson's most famous works in full, including Maud, depicting a tragic love affair, and In Memoriam, a profound tribute to his dearest friend. Excerpts from Idylls of the King show a lifelong passion for Arthurian legend, also seen in the dream-like The Lady of Shalot and in Morte d'Arthur. Other works respond to contemporary events, such as Ode on the Death of the Duke of Wellington, written in Tennyson's official role as Poet Laureate, or the patriotic Charge of the Light Brigade, while Locksley Hall provides a Utopian vision of the future, and the late poem Crossing the Bar is a haunting meditation on his own mortality.
In his introduction, Christopher Ricks discusses aspects of Tennyson's life and works, his revisions of his poems, and his friendship with Arthur Hallam. This edition also includes a chronology, further reading and notes.
Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1892) was born at Somersby, Lincolnshire, the sixth of eleven children. His first important book, Poems, Chiefly Lyrical, was published in 1830, and was not a critical success, but his two volumes of Poems, 1842, which contain some of his finest work, established him as the leading poet of his generation.
If you enjoyed Selected Poems, you might like William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge's Lyrical Ballads, also available in Penguin Classics.
'He had the finest ear of any English poet since Milton'
- Publisher's Name: Penguin Group
- Publish Year: 2007
- Binding: Paperback
- Paperback: 432 page
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0140424431
- ISBN-13: 978-0140424430
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