Tennyson, Songs from the Princess

This poem has a very different feel from the dramatic representations of sorrow found in the poetry of the Romantic period. The words are chosen poignantly but without the ever present sense of melodrama. When Tennyson speaks of the speaker’s dead friends, “That brings our friends up from the underworld,” I do not immediately feel despair but rather a sense of hope. Even though Tennyson does the repeat the line “So sad, so fresh, the days that are no more,” I do not know it is about the poem that gives it the texture of positivity and peace. Perhaps it has something to do with the occasional glimmer of hope such as “Rise in the heart, and gather to the eyes,” and “In looking on the happy Autumn-fields.”

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