Proem Essay

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In the following essay, Zuckermann depicts In Memoriam as a series of love poems influenced by Shakespeare's sonnets.

Most of the few modern explanations of In Memoriam have, like E. B. Mattes' In Memoriam: The Way of a Soul and Graham Hough's "Natural Theology in In Memoriam", concerned themselves principally with the source and precise meaning of the poem's intellectual speculations. While inevitably admitting Tennyson's ultimate subjectivism, critics have concerned themselves little with the nature of the subjective experiences underlying the poem or the literary conventions governing their presentation.

In Memoriam is indeed in one sense a philosophical poem: it must have been amongst the works which prompted Jowett to say to Tennyson, just before the latter's death: "Your poetry has an element of philosophy more to be considered than any regular philosophy in England." But its philosophy is based not on the premise Cogito, ergo sum, but...

(read more from the Critical Essay #3 section)

This section contains 6,277 words
(approx. 16 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Proem Study Guide
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Proem from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.