Thursday, April 23, 2015

Oh, Tennyson

Another poet spotlight today (because, remember, it's national poetry month!), and today it is the very talented Tennyson. As I'm sure you've noticed, all of the poets I've chosen are dead. This is mainly because those are the ones we (mostly) studied in college, so I'm not very familiar with contemporary poets. And they've lasted all of this time for a reason, right?

I've found Tennyson's poetry romantic (not in a boy-girl way), imagistic, and deep. If you haven't tasted any of his delicious poems, view this as your invitation. You won't be sorry.

The Dying Swan 
By Alfred Lord Tennyson

The plain was grassy, wild and bare, 
wide, wild, and open to the air,
which had built up everywhere
an under-roof of doleful grey. 
With an inner voice the river ran,
adown it floated a dying swan,
and loudly did lament. 
It was the middle of the day. 
Ever the weary wind went on, 
and took the reed-tops as it went. 

Some blue peaks in the distance rose, 
and white against the cold-white sky, 
shone out their crowning snows. 
One willow over the river wept, 
and shook the wave as the wind did sigh; 
above in the wind was the swallow,
chasing itself at its own wild will,
and far through the marish green and still
the tangled water-courses slept, 
shot over with purple, green, and yellow. 

The wild swan's death-hymn took the soul
of that waste place with joy
hidden in sorrow: at first to the ear
the warble was low, and full and clear; 
and floating about the under-sky,
prevailing in weakness, the coronach stole 
sometimes afar, and sometimes anear; 
but anon her awful jubilant voice,
with a music strange and manifold, 
flowed forth on a carol free and bold; 
as when a mighty people rejoice
 with shawms, and with cymbals, and harps of gold, 
and the tumult of their acclaim is rolled 
through the open gates of the city afar,
to the shepherd who watcheth the evening star. 
And the creeping mosses and clambering weeds, 
and the willow-branches hoar and dank, 
and the wavy smell of the soughing reeds, 
and the wave-worn horns of the echoing bank,
and the silvery marish-flowers that throng
the desolate creeks and pools among, 
were flooded over with eddying song. 

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