by Alfred, Lord Tennyson


We’ve got your back. With the Tough-O-Meter, you’ll know whether to bring extra layers or Swiss army knives as you summit the literary mountain. (10 = Toughest)

(4) Base Camp

For the most part Tennyson's poem is relatively straightforward. At a few moments, however, it gets tricky and requires some ingenuity on the part of the reader. Lines like "All experience is an arch wherethrough / Gleams that untravelled world" (19-20) are infuriatingly mysterious. At other times, Tennyson leaves out words that would help us make more sense of the lines. For example, when he says "but every hour [that] is saved / From that eternal silence, [is] something more, / A bringer of new things" (26-8) we have to insert "that" and "is" just to make it make sense. Fortunately, lines like these are few and far between.

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