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A Short Analysis of Tennyson’s ‘The Kraken’

A summary of Tennyson’s apocalyptic poem

Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-92) didn’t write many sonnets, despite being a prolific poet (the definitive edition of his Poems spans three thick volumes). But ‘The Kraken’ is probably his most resounding success with the sonnet form, though whether it is a sonnet is open to debate. In this post we offer a brief analysis of ‘The Kraken’ in terms of its language, form, meaning, and imagery.

The Kraken

Below the thunders of the upper deep,
Far, far beneath in the abysmal sea,
His ancient, dreamless, uninvaded sleep
The Kraken sleepeth: faintest sunlights flee
About his shadowy sides; above him swell
Huge sponges of millennial growth and height; Read the rest of this entry


A Short Analysis of Tennyson’s ‘Break, Break, Break’

A summary of one of Tennyson’s greatest short poems

‘Break, break, break’: as opening lines go, it’s memorable for repeating the same word three times and allowing no variation on the rhythm or metre. Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-1892) wrote many of his greatest poems in response to the sudden death of a close friend in 1833. ‘Break, Break, Break’ is one such poem. Below is the poem, followed by a few words of analysis, addressing the poem’s language, meaning, imagery, and structure.

Break, break, break,
On thy cold gray stones, O Sea!
And I would that my tongue could utter
The thoughts that arise in me. Read the rest of this entry

10 Classic Tennyson Poems Everyone Should Read

The best poems by Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-1892)

Alfred, Lord Tennyson lived a long time, and wrote a great deal of poetry. The definitive edition of his Poems stretches to three large volumes. Nevertheless, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to choose ten of the best Tennyson poems, ranging from his narrative poems to lyrics and elegies and everything in between. For those who wish to learn more about Tennyson, we’ve previously treated his interesting life and work here. To enter a world of myth, magic, and emotional depth, click on the links we’ve provided to each poem. Are these the greatest poems Tennyson wrote? Obviously any link will be subjective to a point, so we welcome your thoughts below. Read the rest of this entry