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The Monday Poem > Nothing Will Die - Alfred, Lord Tennyson (5/5/14)

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message 1: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) Nothing Will Die

by Alfred Lord Tennyson

When will the stream be aweary of flowing
Under my eye?
When will the wind be aweary of blowing
Over the sky?
When will the clouds be aweary of fleeting?
When will the heart be aweary of beating?
And nature die?
Never, oh! never, nothing will die;
The stream flows,
The wind blows,
The cloud fleets,
The heart beats,
Nothing will die.

Nothing will die;
All things will change
Thro' eternity.
'Tis the world's winter;
Autumn and summer
Are gone long ago;
Earth is dry to the centre,
But spring, a new comer,
A spring rich and strange,
Shall make the winds blow
Round and round,
Thro' and thro',
Here and there,
Till the air
And the ground
Shall be fill'd with life anew.

The world was never made;
It will change, but it will not fade.
So let the wind range;
For even and morn
Ever will be
Thro' eternity.
Nothing was born;
Nothing will die;
All things will change.


message 2: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) All Things Will Die

by Alfred Lord Tennyson

Clearly the blue river chimes in its flowing
Under my eye;
Warmly and broadly the south winds are blowing
Over the sky.
One after another the white clouds are fleeting;
Every heart this May morning in joyance is beating
Full merrily;
Yet all things must die.
The stream will cease to flow;
The wind will cease to blow;
The clouds will cease to fleet;
The heart will cease to beat;
For all things must die.
All things must die.
Spring will come never more.
Oh! vanity!
Death waits at the door.
See! our friends are all forsaking
The wine and the merrymaking.
We are call'd -- we must go.
Laid low, very low,
In the dark we must lie.
The merry glees are still;
The voice of the bird
Shall no more be heard,
Nor the wind on the hill.
Oh! misery!
Hark! death is calling
While I speak to ye,
The jaw is falling,
The red cheek paling,
The strong limbs failing;
Ice with the warm blood mixing;
The eyeballs fixing.
Nine times goes the passing bell:
Ye merry souls, farewell.
The old earth
Had a birth,
As all men know,
Long ago.
And the old earth must die.
So let the warm winds range,
And the blue wave beat the shore;
For even and morn
Ye will never see
Thro' eternity.
All things were born.
Ye will come never more,
For all things must die.

1893


message 3: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) The second poem is for purposes of completion - it is the first that I like! I love the rhythm and metre, and the simple direct imagery.


message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

I like the comparison of the two. The first poem is very optimistic, I enjoyed the simple imagery too.


message 5: by LauraT (new)

LauraT (laurata) | 13033 comments Mod
Me too: they gain with the comparison. Great choice Jean


message 6: by Diane S ☔ (new)

Diane S ☔ Love the imagery of the first too. But it makes it even more special with the comparison poem.


message 7: by Jenny (new)

Jenny (jeoblivion) | 4869 comments Love that you've posted both Jean. Were they written in the same year?


message 8: by Shirley (new)

Shirley | 4177 comments I've never read either of these before, so thanks for posting, Jean! I like the first one, too. Sounds almost Buddhist in outlook.


message 9: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) Yes, both in 1893, Jenny.

Very astute as always Shirley. That's probably what attracted me to the sentiment.


message 10: by Dhanaraj (new)

Dhanaraj Rajan | 2962 comments I loved the first poem. As Heather observed it is very optimistic in its outlook.


message 11: by B the BookAddict (new)

B the BookAddict (bthebookaddict) | 8315 comments I love the first one, thanks Jean. I love the 'nature' element. If I was feeling low, the second one would make me feel quite depressed, I think.

I have not read terribly much of Tennyson but these spur me on to discover more.


message 12: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) I must admit I don't know why he wrote the second one. It sounds as if we all drift back to the positive sense of the first. Perhaps it is merely to contrast them. Does anybody know, or have a theory?


message 13: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 15985 comments Although I too prefer the first poem, I really like the contrast of the two. Thanks for posting both Jean!


message 14: by Shirley (new)

Shirley | 4177 comments Jean wrote: "I must admit I don't know why he wrote the second one. It sounds as if we all drift back to the positive sense of the first. Perhaps it is merely to contrast them. Does anybody know, or have a theory?"

I don't know, it's like he's thought about it and decided he was wrong? Or did he write the second one first?


message 15: by Shirley (new)

Shirley | 4177 comments Jean wrote: "Yes, both in 1893, Jenny.

Very astute as always Shirley. That's probably what attracted me to the sentiment."


Not that I know lots about Buddhism, I should point out, but my husband studied Religious studies at uni, alongside Engish, and used to talk about different religions.


message 16: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) Whenever I come across them, I come across them in that order, but I don't actually know. It's as if he had second thoughts. I rather wish he hadn't!

I've never memorised poetry (except as a tiny child), but don't you think the first one would be a good one to memorise?


message 17: by B the BookAddict (new)

B the BookAddict (bthebookaddict) | 8315 comments Jean wrote: "Whenever I come across them, I come across them in that order, but I don't actually know. It's as if he had second thoughts. I rather wish he hadn't!

I've never memorised poetry (except as a tiny..."


A very good one to memorize, Jean.

Having re-read them both now, it's like he was feeling very positive when the wrote the first. Then in a down mood, he's written the second.


message 18: by [deleted user] (new)

The poems reflect human nature. Sometimes we feel really positive and love life but sometimes we feel much more negative. That's how I feel about the two poems


message 19: by Jenny (new)

Jenny (jeoblivion) | 4869 comments To me both seem equally true. One seems to look through the eyes of nature, or the universe of which we are part of,so even if we - our individual I - ceases to exist it doesn't matter much, life goes on, and somehow even we go on through the traces we've left tiny as they may be.

The other one seems speak from a much 'smaller' point of view. If we are talking Buddhism we may call it ego maybe? We're mortal, so for our eyes and ears and all of our senses the world will end at some point, or at least that concious bit of us we call 'I' will stop being there to witness them going on?


message 20: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) Thank you for making this point Jenny :) It hadn't occurred to me quite so specifically, but I think that's right, and yet another of "Dhanaraj's multiple viewpoints" ;)

I too felt like Bette and Heather the subjective difference - one of mood - which meant I was far more drawn to the first.

It's so great to have different interpretations of this, thanks everybody. I've never studied Tennyson particularly, but liked the first poem as soon as I read it.


message 21: by Timothy (last edited May 09, 2014 11:42AM) (new)

Timothy Muller | 46 comments You have initiated a nice discussion with you choice Jean.

I also am interested in which of the two poems he wrote first. I don't have those poems in my selection of Tennyson's work and have briefly checked on the internet but still don't know. It would make more sense to me to have written the second first (it's darkest before the dawn). But Tennyson was (intermittently at least) a depressive, so who knows?

I agree with Jenny that both are true depending on perspective and I suspect this was Tennyson's point.


message 22: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) It is tempting to think he wrote them the other way round, but in my collection (and wherever I have seen them on the internet) they occur the way I have posted them, unfortunately. Perhaps this is for the reason you say. Speaking for myself however, I like to just read the first one.

Thanks! I'm looking forward to seeing what you choose, Timothy :)


message 23: by Alannah (new)

Alannah Clarke (alannahclarke) | 11473 comments Mod
Don't think I studied these poems in my Victorian literature class but I would have really liked to. Great choice Jean.


message 24: by Gloria (new)

Gloria Sun (sunrequiem) | 38 comments I've seen the second one before but not the first, thank you so much for presenting them together, it's such an insightful contrast.


message 25: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) You're welcome Gloria :)


message 26: by Noorilhuda (new)

Noorilhuda | 185 comments powerful stuff.


message 27: by Blue (new)

Blue (topazamber) Very moved by this Alfred Tennyson poem. Have never read it. Thank you, Jean.


message 28: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) Yes, I do prefer the first one ...


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