Flower in the crannied wall,I pluck you the end of the crannies; —Hold friend here, root and all, in my hand,Little flower — but if I might understandWhat you are, root and all, and also all in all,I should know what God and man is.

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— native Tennyson’s city (Norton crucial Editions), through Alfred Tennyson / Edited by Robert W. Hill Jr.

/ photograph by David masters /

Since lord Tennyson retained his poem short, I’ll save my commentary short, as well.

Maybe this poem’s observation of the flower is a little bit sentimental, however that final lines have actually an alliterative delight, and also its depth of insight shouldn’t it is in overlooked–

but if I can understandWhat you are, root and also all, and also all in all,I should recognize what God and also man is.

Any thing — any kind of object, any kind of person, any kind of experience — no matter exactly how mundane or humble, when truly and totally encountered, becomes a doorway to enlightenment.

Have a beautiful day!

Alfred Tennyson

England (1809 – 1892) TimelineSecular or EclecticChristian : Protestant

Alfred, lord Tennyson was most likely the most significant English poet of the victor era. He gained immense fame and also renown in his very own lifetime.

Alfred Tennyson was born in Lincolnshire, the fourth of twelve children. His father was a bitterness clergyman, compelled into the life that a rector by his very own father after gift disinherited in favor of a much more capable younger brother (Alfred’s uncle) that would build a household of place that can eventually case a ar within the aristocracy. Alfred’s father to be an stormy man, one alcoholic and also drug addict, creating a dark, tense atmosphere in Alfred’s upbringing.

Addiction and also nervous disorders ran v the family. 2 of Alfred Tennyson’s siblings to be institutionalized because that erratic behaviors and addictions. It’s said that every one of the Tennyson kids had at the very least one mental breakdown.

Alfred Tennyson started writing poetry in ~ a young age, together did number of of his brothers and sisters, as a way to discover freedom from your dark home atmosphere.

Yet, despite such a difficult upbringing, Tennyson competent ecstatic says of spiritual transcendence i m sorry he explained as “a kind of waking trance – this for absence of a far better word — ns have typically had, fairly up from boyhood, as soon as I have actually been all alone… every at once, as it were out of the strongness of the awareness of individuality, the personality itself seemed to dissolve and also fade away right into boundless being, and also this not a puzzled state but the clearest, the surest the the surest… utterly beyond words – where fatality was an almost laughable impossibility, the loss of personality (if so it were) seeming no extinction, but the just true life.” this “trances” ongoing throughout his life.

His an initial collection of poetry was published prior to he to be 18.

Alfred Tennyson attended college at Cambridge, happy to escape his home life. There he make friends easily, wherein he to be admired for his intelligence, his skill as a writer, because that his feeling of humor, and for his great looks. This was specifically happy time in the young poet’s life.

During this time he came to be close friends with a excellent student called Arthur Henry Hallam. While some contemporary historians indicate this was a homosexual relationship, there’s not really any kind of clear indication the that was the case. But the the bond between the 2 friends to be immediate and strong. Hallam ended up being engaged to Tennyson’s younger sister, however the wedding was put off till Hallam perfect his studies.

Alfred Tennyson had to give up his studies once his father died. His grandfather noted some revenue to the family, however would not support the Cambridge research studies of Alfred or his brothers, since none appeared to it is in pursuing researches that would certainly lead to lucrative careers and also family advancement.

Alfred Tennyson refused a place in the church pressed on the by his grandfather. Living in digital poverty ~ above a tiny allowance given to him by an aunt, he figured out to do his means as a poet. This to be a duration of an excellent struggle for the young poet. His released poetry received brutal notices from the literature critics.

Then Hallam, Alfred’s nearby friend and fiance to his sister, died unexpectedly while travel in Vienna.

Hallam’s death, blended in v his other life struggles, produced a spiritual dilemm for Alfred Tennyson. His mood and hopes collapsed. He refused to publish his poetry for virtually ten years, despite he continued to write.

Alfred Tennyson to be briefly involved to a young woman named Emily Sellwood roughly this time, but broke off the engagement since of his poverty and also fears because that his health. He started an itinerant period of hefty drinking and also staying with his widowed mom or through friends in London.

His friends, worried about him, finally encouraged him to publish his poems again, and the resulting two volume Poems, was received with all of sudden high praise. Alfred Tennyson to be suddenly taken into consideration one the the climbing stars the his generation of poets.

Subsequent publications more increased his notoriety and restored his finances. His repertoire of elegies come his dead girlfriend Hallam In Memoriam lifted him to the position of the preeminent poet the his day.

Feeling the his life was on track when again, he renewed the betrothal come Emily Sellwood the he’d abandoned a couple of years earlier and also two lastly married. His wife took over lot of the day-to-day company of home and also finances, releasing Tennyson to emphasis on his writing.

Because that his prominence, Tennyson was invite to court and he came to be a close girlfriend to Queen Victoria. Tennyson thrived Wordsworth as poet laureate. Later, after number of refusals, he permitted himself come be developed a baron, no much longer Alfred Tennyson, but Alfred, lord Tennyson.

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The victor romanticism the Tennyson’s poetry doesn’t always match contemporary tastes. The language and imagery deserve to be florid. Ideals of armed forces heroism are regularly romanticized. His poetry provides voice come an imperial society trying to rediscover what is most noble within its very own identity, when at various other times it serves as a reminder to reconnect through the living people of nature. With it all, choose his “trances,” Tennyson’s city uncovers moment of stillness and transcendence and also underlying unity… through rhymes and turns of phrase that tenderness coax the awareness to follow.