There’s Something About Tennyson

Oh Alfred, Lord Tennyson. Was there ever a better poet? I love him immensely.

Last night my friend Darius texted my other friend Ade, saying that we should meet him in the plaza at midnight. What was gonna happen? We both rolled our eyes and decided that we would stay up (despite the fact that I wanted to go to bed early). However, I had an hour and a half to waste away. So, I did something that I hadn’t done in a long time: I pulled out Twelfth Night and began to read aloud.

I discovered a long time ago that plays and poems MUST be read aloud to give them life. I used to just randomly read fromMuch Ado About Nothing. “The world must be peopled!” So I read my favorite parts from Shakespeare and realized that I had about forty minutes left. So I pulled out my Tennyson. Oh, that glorious man. It used to be that “The Lady of Shallott” was my favorite poem. However, “The Day Dream” steals my heart every time I read it.

The poem starts out with Tennyson speaking to Lady Flora. Apparently a group of friends (including the lady) have taken a nap and he had a peculiar dream. It was of the story of the sleeping beauty. The poem is fantastic, but the best part is the end titled THE MORAL.

So, Lady Flora, take my lay,
And if you find no moral there,
Go, look in any glass and say,
What moral is in being fair.
Oh, to what uses shall we put
The wildweed-flower that simply blows?
And is there any moral shut
Within the bosom of the rose?

But any man that walks the mead,
In bud or blade, or bloom, may find,
According as his humours lead,
A meaning suited to his mind.
And liberal applications lie
In Art like Nature, dearest friend;
So ’twere to cramp its use, if I
Should hook it to some useful end.

Oh, amen. He does have a moral/purpose: the wooing of Lady Flora, as is exemplified by the EPILOGUE. However, his point here is that some things are made to be beautiful. And that’s all. Even stories.

I really admire and respect this man. Every time I read him, I’m transported to some far off place that is full of chivalry and knights of old. He writes like that. “Lancelot and Elaine” made me cry. Sir Lancelot was such a cad, but I loved it.

So go read some Tennyson. If you’re more into battles than the romantic stuff, read “The Charge of the Light Brigade.”


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