Study Guide

In Memoriam A.H.H. Things That Clasp and Entwine (for $1,000, Alex)

By Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Things That Clasp and Entwine (for $1,000, Alex)

Like darkness and light, things that clasp or entwine around each other also are dominant images throughout Tennyson's poem.

We see this most often in terms of Tennyson and Arthur holding hands. Tennyson remembers the "hands so often clasp'd in mine" (239) and mentions "clasping brother-hands" (1694). Clasping hands is an image that is repeated many times and emphasizes the bond of friendship that Tennyson shared with Arthur.

This image sometimes occurs in terms of a romantic relationship between a man and a woman. Think about when Tennyson employs the analogy of a widower missing his dead wife, mentioning the heart where "warm hands have prest and closed" (287). So…Tennyson views Arthur romantically?

Well, not exactly—while it seems as if there's more going on than just friendship and fanboying between these two, Tennyson is just grasping throughout the poem to find the right metaphors to describe the vastness of his loss. Sometimes, the close relationship between two lovers seems to fill the bill, so that's what he goes with.