Study Guide

In Memoriam A.H.H. Tough-o-Meter

By Alfred, Lord Tennyson


(8) Snow Line

Get ready to make sure all your lines are secure and you've packed your ice screws, because we're definitely going far above Base Camp on this one. For one, In Memoriam is loooooong (obvs).

But it'll also challenge your noggin because it's written in fragments, so locating the speaker in time is pretty difficult. Plus, Tennyson throws in a heap of images and metaphors that can be tough to suss out, so those will keep you on your toes. Finally, you'll want to keep your dictionary link open, since you'll be looking up some archaic vocabulary like "burthen," "lea," "Phosphor," and "daw."

Hang in there, though, because you'll be rewarded with arguably one of the greatest poems of the nineteenth century, examining grief, loss, and the struggle to understand randomness against the backdrop of religion.