Dealing with Death- Tennyson’s tips

One of the readings from this week that really captivated my interest was Alfred Tennyson’s “In Memoriam A.H.H.”. The themes of death found in this week’s readings were sort of fitting in my mind since we have entered October and Halloween is this month! There is a journey of death being discussed in this poem and there are details about how Tennyson deals with the grief of a death. The words were strong in both sounds and imagery. Death can be so difficult for everyone but each person deals with death differently. The stages of grief were something I have studied in psychology a little and it is fascinating to see how each person’s stages vary. The anger at first can be expressed in so many different ways. The feeling of loss and helplessness can be an all-consuming one that affects everyday activity for some people. Anger often turns into depression or loneliness, which eventually leads to acceptance. This poem had a progression of stanzas illustrating how Tennyson dealt with a death and his own personal stages. Losing a friend is a very difficult thing to go through and memories can help one cope with their loss. Friendship can be a very touching and impacting thing. friends are family we get to choose in a way and their impact is everlasting as the poem describes. The form and structure of this poem helped convey these messages and quite beautifully too through Tennyson’s words. Writing is a great way of coping with any feeling whether it is one of loss, fear, anger, or grief. Although we only had a section of this poem I still felt it to be longer than other poems we have come across and this can be used as a way to show how getting over a death can be a long process. Some of the lines within this poem had a sort of distance about them and reading it out loud didn’t have the same cheery flow other poems we have read encompass. This could show the feelings of disjointedness one may feel after going through an experience such as the death of a close friend. I wondered how Tenyson’s words can be applied to each of our own lives and is almost a framework of sorts outlining the way life plays itself out around tragic events, such as death. We could even use this framework to assess sad moments in life or suffering other than death itself. Losing a job or fighting through a terminal illness or physical condition can have these types of stages as well. This poem may be Tennyson’s way of sharing with the world his view on stages of grief over a death but could also be seen as a way to help someone in need. It is easy to feel all alone and isolated during times like this. Simply knowing you are not alone or that other people have gone through similar times and are able to get through it or even offer you help and advice can be a great support system.


One comment

  • Nice post, Priya. I like the way you bring insights from the psychology of mourning to bear on Tennyson’s poem. I wonder, though, what tripped you up in reading. What was tough about the poem? Or, put another way, were there specific moments that caught your eye?

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