"Locksley Hall" is a poem written by Alfred Tennyson in 1835 and published in his 1842 collection of Poems . It narrates the emotions of a rejected suitor upon coming to his childhood home, an apparently fictional Locksley Hall, though in fact Tennyson was a guest of the Arundel family in their stately home named Loxley Hall, in Staffordshire, where he spent much of his time writing whilst on his visits.
According to Tennyson, the poem represents "young life, its good side, its deficiencies, and its yearnings".Tennyson's son Hallam recalled that his father said the poem was inspired by Sir William Jones's prose translation of the Arabic Mu'allaqat.
"Locksley Hall" is a dramatic monologue written as a set of 97 rhyming couplets. Each line follows a modified version of trochaic octameter in which the last unstressed syllable has been eliminated; moreover, there is generally a caesura, whether explicit or implicit, after the first four trochees in the line. Each couplet is separated as its own stanza. The University of Toronto library identifies this form as "the old 'fifteener' line," quoting Tennyson, who claimed it was written in trochaics because the father of his friend Arthur Hallam suggested that the English liked the meter.The meter is reminiscent of that of the Nibelungenlied .
The poem opens with the unnamed protagonist asking his friends to continue ahead and leave him alone to muse about the past and the future. He reveals that the place he has stopped at is called Locksley Hall, and he spent his childhood there. The rest of the poem, though written as rhymed metered verse, follows the stream of consciousness of its protagonist as an interior monologue. The protagonist struggles to reach some sort of catharsis on his childhood feelings.
In his monologue, the protagonist begins with fond memories of his childhood sweetheart, but those memories quickly lead to a burst of anger as he relates that the object of his affections abandoned him due to her parents' disapproval. He proceeds to offer a biting criticism of her husband who supplanted him in her affections, interspersed with personal reflection. This criticism is only really interrupted when he reflects that she will eventually have a child, and will be more concerned with her child than about the protagonist. The protagonist promptly continues his angry tirade, this time directed at the mother–child relationship.
The protagonist seeks escape from his depression by thinking he might immerse himself in some sort of work that would distract him, but finds this impossible, saying:
To be free of his depression, the protagonist continues into a grand description of the world to come, which he views as somewhat utopian. He relapses into anger briefly again when he hears a bugle call from his comrades telling him to hurry up.
Tennyson also predicts the rise of both civil aviation and military aviation in the following words:
In the 20th century, Marshal of the Royal Air Force Sir John Slessor was to use Tennyson's expression "the central blue" as the title for his autobiography.
Much of the remainder of the poem is built up of an odd contrast between the beauty of civilisation and the beauty of the noble savage. He recalls the land where he was born (which he only says is somewhere in the Orient), and lovingly notes its lack of civilisation, describing it as "Summer isles of Eden" and "knots of Paradise."
In the end, he rejects the ideal of the noble savage, preferring the progress that civilisation has made. He also immediately thereafter turns his back on Locksley Hall, and marches forth to meet his comrades.
Tennyson neither identifies the protagonist as a hero nor an anti-hero. The first half of the poem portrays him as a victim, but the second reveals that the protagonist holds views that are now recognised as remarkably racist and sexist; for example:
This is contrasted however with Tennyson's known feminist views, making a lot of his similar works a satire on men of the views he wrote about.
The narrator is also remarkably emotionally volatile through the poem. A good exampleoccurs when he reminisces about his love for his cousin Amy; while recalling the wonderful experiences of love, he immediately becomes infuriated with her, even going so far as to throw insults:
In the narrator, Tennyson captures and displays many strong emotions—placid insightfulness, wonder, love, jealousy, despair, and eventually a sort of catharsis. Tennyson also uses the narrator to speculate on what the world might become: he presents a vision of human advance and conflict, of aerial commerce and combat, resolving in a world of federation, peace, and universal law. As many of these predictions have since been realised, Tennyson's work now seems prescient in many ways.
The historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr., writing in the Wall Street Journal, quoted the poem to illustrate "a noble dream" that modern US policy decisions may have been neglecting, and he also stated that Winston Churchill considered it "the most wonderful of modern prophecies" and Harry S. Truman carried the words in his wallet.
Lord Tennyson wrote a sequel to Locksley Hall in 1886, "Locksley Hall Sixty Years After". In the sequel Tennyson describes how the industrialised nature of Britain has failed to fulfil the expectations of the poem of 1842.
A line in "Locksley Hall" would inspire the title of the historian Paul Kennedy's 2006 book on the United Nations, The Parliament of Man: The Past, Present, and Future of the United Nations.
Locksley Hall was parodied, not without beauty, to the foxhunter at least, by the Victorian English foxhunting MP William Bromley Davenport (1821–1884) in his poem "Lowesby Hall", named after a famous hunting seat in Leicestershire, the pre-eminent fox-hunting county. It describes the revived emotion in a jaded and spend-thrift city MP as he recalls the excitement of his youth foxhunting in Leicestershire, and foresees the end of his Victorian aristocratic society:
In a scene from the American film Marathon Man , graduate student Thomas "Babe" Levy (portrayed by actor Dustin Hoffman) attends an exclusive seminar at Columbia University. During the seminar, his irritable professor, played by Fritz Weaver, quotes the line "Let us hush this cry of 'Forward' till ten thousand years have gone" from "Locksley Hall Sixty Years After" and then asks if anyone recognises it. Hoffman's character is the only one who does (he writes down the title in his notes) but does not reveal this to the class. The professor calls him out on this after dismissing the other students.
In the television programme Star Trek: Voyager , the dedication plaque of the USS. Voyager quotes from the poem: "For I dipt in to the future, far as human eye could see; Saw the vision of the world, and all the wonder that would be."
Track two of the album Exit by electronic music ensemble Tangerine Dream is called "Pilots of Purple Twilight" in homage --- as discussed in the Wikipedia entry on the band, British poetry was an extramusical source of inspiration, particularly to band leader Edgar Froese.
"Locksley Hall" is also the source of the title of Colum McCann's 2009 novel, Let the Great World Spin.
Also, it includes one of the most famous lines in all of English poetry, the last of the following four, albeit very few are aware of the poem whence it came, and it is often, perhaps usually, misquoted:
James Thurber illustrated this poem for Fables for Our Time and Famous Poems Illustrated .
Elizabeth Gaskell mentions the poem in her 1853 novel Cranford . Lines from it are quoted in the 2007 adaptation of the novel.
Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron Tennyson was a British poet. He was the Poet Laureate during much of Queen Victoria's reign and remains one of the most popular British poets. In 1829, Tennyson was awarded the Chancellor's Gold Medal at Cambridge for one of his first pieces, "Timbuktu". He published his first solo collection of poems, Poems Chiefly Lyrical in 1830. "Claribel" and "Mariana", which remain some of Tennyson's most celebrated poems, were included in this volume. Although decried by some critics as overly sentimental, his verse soon proved popular and brought Tennyson to the attention of well-known writers of the day, including Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Tennyson's early poetry, with its medievalism and powerful visual imagery, was a major influence on the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.
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"Crossing the Bar" is an 1889 poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. It is considered that Tennyson wrote it in elegy; the narrator uses an extended metaphor to compare death with crossing the "sandbar" between river of life, with its outgoing "flood", and the ocean that lies beyond [death], the "boundless deep", to which we return.
"Come hither child" is a poem written by the English poet Emily Jane Brontë, one of the four Brontë siblings famous for literature in the first half of the 19th century. The poem was written on 19 July 1839. It is set in the imaginary realm of Gaaldine, referring to Ula, a province of Gaaldine.
"Tithonus" is a poem by the Victorian poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809–92), originally written in 1833 as "Tithon" and completed in 1859. It first appeared in the February edition of the Cornhill Magazine in 1860. Faced with old age, Tithonus, weary of his immortality, yearns for death. The poem is a dramatic monologue with Tithonus addressing his consort Eos, the goddess of the dawn.
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The Nightingale: A Conversation Poem is a poem written by Samuel Taylor Coleridge in April 1798. Originally included in the joint collection of poems called Lyrical Ballads, the poem disputes the traditional idea that nightingales are connected to the idea of melancholy. Instead, the nightingale represents to Coleridge the experience of nature. Midway through the poem, the narrator stops discussing the nightingale in order to describe a mysterious female and a gothic scene. After the narrator is returned to his original train of thought by the nightingale's song, the narrator recalls a moment when he took his crying son out to see the moon, which immediately filled the child with joy. Critics have found the poem either decent with little complaint or as one of his better poems containing beautiful lines.
"Mariana" is a poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, published in 1830. The poem follows a common theme in much of Tennyson's work—that of despondent isolation. The subject of "Mariana" is a woman who continuously laments her lack of connection with society. The isolation defines her existence, and her longing for a connection leaves her wishing for death at the end of every stanza. The premise of "Mariana" originates in William Shakespeare's Measure for Measure, but the poem ends before Mariana's lover returns. Tennyson's version was adapted by others, including John Everett Millais and Elizabeth Gaskell, for use in their own works. The poem was well received by critics, and it is described by critics as an example of Tennyson's skill at poetry.
"The Deserted House" is a poem written by Alfred Lord Tennyson in 1830, as part of his collection Poems, Chiefly Lyrical. The poem is characterised by its reliance on short lines which alternate in rhyme and meter to prevent a felicitous feel. In the poem, Tennyson uses the image of a dark house as a metaphor for a dead body
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"St Simeon Stylites" is a poem written by Alfred Tennyson in 1833 and published in his 1842 collection of poetry. The poem describes the actions of St. Simeon Stylites, a Christian ascetic saint who goes counts his various physical acts in hopes that he has earned his place in heaven. It captures Tennyson's feelings following the death of a close friend, Arthur Hallam, and contains feelings of self-loathing and regret. The work has ironic overtones that give it the appearance of a satirical work.
An Eton Poetry Book is an anthology edited by Cyril Alington and George Lyttelton, with an introduction by A. C. Benson. The editors' intentions were "to provide poems which boys might reasonably be expected to like" and "to awaken their metrical sense." The book was published in 1925, with a second impression in 1927 and a third in 1938.
Lowesby Hall is a large Grade II* Georgian mansion in the parish and former manor of Lowesby, eight miles east of Leicester in Leicestershire. It is a famous fox-hunting seat in the heart of the Quorn country. The poem "Lowesby Hall" by the Victorian English foxhunting MP William Bromley Davenport (1821–1884) was a parody on Alfred Tennyson's 1835 poem Locksley Hall.
Poems, by Alfred Tennyson, was a two-volume 1842 collection in which new poems and reworked older ones were printed in separate
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