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Break, Break, Break

Break, Break, Break


by Alfred Lord Tennyson

Analysis: Calling Card

Frustrated Self-Expression

Tennyson often complains (in his poems) about his inability to express himself properly. Well, he wrote enough beautiful poetry that we're not really convinced that he had a problem, but he seemed to think so. He worried that his many poems about his grief for his friend Hallam were just empty sounds, like the many repeated "O's" in the poem "Break, break, break," or like the "shouts" of the kids, or like the sound of the breaking waves.

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