From In Memoriam A

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Topics: Poetry
From In Memoriam A.H.H.
English poet Lord Tennyson Alfred wrote the long poem “From In Memoriam
A.H.H.”, starting it in 1833 after the death of his close friend Arthur Henry Hallam, completing them in 1849, and publishing them in 1850. The poem consists of many smaller poems, written in an iambic tetrameter with an ABBA rhyme scheme. Tennyson uses figurative language and every line of the ABBA rhyme scheme contains 8 syllables. This really allows the rhythm of the poem to flow naturally. Since these poems were written over such a long time span, you can see the differences in the lyrical tone and mood over the reaction to Hallam’s death and Tennyson’s psychological health and religious beliefs. The poems seem to begin with initial grief to doubt and despair throughout the first half, to rising hope and assertion of faith towards the end of the poems. Section 130 is an example of Tennyson’s evolving belief in life after death. Tennyson knows Arthur is physically gone but his spirit remains and one day the two friends will reunite again. Far off thou art, but ever nigh;
I have thee still, and I rejoice;
I prosper, circled with thy voice;
I shall not lose thee tho' I die.
(Lines 13­16, section 130.) I do not believe the poem is simply an expression of personal grief. Even though “I” is sometimes directed with Tennyson, I think it is also intended to represent other people’s

difficulties. Tennyson’s personal grief and was related to the suffering by the men and women who were losing faith in religion. Tennyson suffers from his loss, but he eventually accepts the notion that despite the difficulties, the world is really evolving into something better. Hallam comes to be seen as a “symbol” that will lead the human race to God.
In sections 54, 55, and 56 of the poem, Tennyson finds his beliefs in God weakened and his faith weakening due to scientific fact. Tennyson first begins to contemplate his faith in section 54 of the poem. I think

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