Proem Essay

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Kelly is a creative writing and literature instructor at two colleges in Illinois. In this essay, Kelly explains why it is better to analyze Tennyson's poem without considering the larger work that it introduces.

The difficulty one finds in approaching a work like Alfred Lord Tennyson's "Proem" is one that troubles anyone practicing literary criticism and, in fact, anyone trying to understand life: how much should be examined at any one time? Even with an average poem, possibilities abound, since there exists any extent of background information that could be useful for helping readers comprehend the lines on the page in front of them. Biographical information is often referred to, and so are similar poems from the poet's canon, or poems written around the same time, or poems that clearly influence the subject matter.

"Proem" has all of these elements. It is the introduction to a longer piece...

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This section contains 1,674 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Proem Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
Proem from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.