Please use this blog to help us remember Joshua Lee Anderson, who made the tragic and fatal decision to take his life on Wednesday, March 18, 2009. Please post any memories or thoughts you may have in the comments.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

"In Memoriam A.H.H" by Lord Alfred Tennyson

Along with the poetry anthology, The Art of Losing: Poems of Grief and Healing, I plan to read Lord Alfred Tennyson's epic work, In Memoriam A.H.H. (1849) which was written over a seventeen-year period after the sudden death of his best friend and fellow poet, Arthur Henry Hallam at the age of twenty-two.  He died of a stroke.  Hallam was engaged to Tennyson's younger sister, Emily. Both Alfred and Emily named their elder sons after him.

In Memoriam A.H.H is considered to be not only one of Tennyson's greatest works but one of the great poems of the entire 19th century.  Queen Victoria turn to the lyrical work after the death of Prince Albert in 1861, "Next to the Bible, In Memoriam is my comfort."

Similar to the form of other long poems or epics such as Lord Byron's Don Juan or Dante's Divine Comedy, In Memoriam is divided into 133 cantos.  I never realized this beautiful quote is from canto XXVII :
'Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.
I have found a web site which gives an easy-to-understand summary of each canto.  This will be very helpful to me as I make my way slowly through the poem.  I plan to write posts on what I learn.

Canto IV
Canto V

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