19th Century Literature discussion

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Tennyson, anyone?

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message 1: by Pamela (new)

Pamela | 11 comments Any thoughts?


message 2: by Gail (new)

Gail I love Tennyson and am so sorry that he has "gone out of fashion".
Favorite lines:

Out flew the web and floated wide,
"The curse is come upon me!" cried
The Lady of Shallot.

Oh, I can read his stuff all day long.
How do you feel about some of the WW I poets? Wilfred Owen and that lot? I like them as well. Yeats would be top poet, though. I know they don't fit this topic, but they were heavily influenced by the Vics.





message 3: by Pamela (new)

Pamela | 11 comments I really like Wilfred Owen's work. I agree with you about influences, on both Owen and A.E. Housman, but what they do with the influences is heartbreakingly good. I think my favorite turn-of-the century British poet is Hardy...

Back to ALT--"Tithonus" is my favorite poem. I also like "The Lady of Shalott" and "In Memorium."


message 4: by Rosemary (new)

Rosemary Like you, Bruce, I find "Ulysses" even more meaningful as the years go by. My 10th grade English teacher required the students to memorize a few lines ("I am a part of all that I have met . . ."), and I still repeat them to myself amid the striving and seeking and refusing to yield.


message 5: by Rosemary (new)

Rosemary Pamela, have you heard Loreena McKennitt's lovely singing version of "The Lady of Shalott"? I'm also delighted with the way the poem was acted out in Anne of Green Gables.

Owen, Housman, Hardy, Arnold--all touched my heart in English class and call for re-reading.


message 6: by Letitia (last edited Jun 22, 2008 09:20AM) (new)

Letitia | 2 comments Is Tennyson out of fashion? What a tragedy. I have to admit I have always preferred Lord Byron. Since they were great friends I suppose this is acceptable :-)

Rosemary, I am fascinated that Loreena McKennitt has recorded Lady of Shallott. Now I'll look for it. The version in Anne of Green Gables, however, while incredibly well done, has removed from me all ability to take the work seriously. I immediately picture her bedraggled, wet, and stranded, clinging to a pole while Gilbert rows by!!


message 7: by Matthew (new)

Matthew | 6 comments Hi. I'm new to the group and immediately gravitated to the Tennyson thread.

I don't think Tennyson is especially out of fashion except insofar as classical poetry in general is out of fashion. For those who read the classics at all, they are no less likely to read Tennyson than Byron or Kipling, etc.

The problem, however, is that the vast majority of readers (I assume the members of this group are a notable exception) don't read classical poetry for pleasure. Last Summer, I was sitting out on my front stoop, enjoying a cigar and reading A.E. Housman's Shropshire Lad. One of my neighbors came by and asked me what course I was studying for. I told her I wasn't taking a course, but was simply reading the poetry for pleasure. For a moment, the poor lady looked utterly baffled. It was truly as if she had never heard of such a thing.

So, in that sense, yes Tennyson is out of fashion. But not disproportionately so.

Today, I am associate director of a semi-regular poetry reading group that concentrates on the classics. Two days after the inauguration, we did poems on the theme of hope and change. I kicked the reading off with Ulysses.


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