Tuesday, July 9, 2013

In Memoriam


In Memoriam, [To Sleep I give my powers away]
Lord Alfred Tennyson

To Sleep I give my powers away;
    My will is bondsman to the dark;
    I sit within a helmless bark,
And with my heart I muse and say:
O heart, how fares it with thee now,
    That thou should fail from thy desire,
    Who scarcely darest to inquire,
"What is it makes me beat so low?"
Something it is which thou hast lost,
    Some pleasure from thine early years.
    Break thou deep vase of chilling tears,
That grief hath shaken into frost!
Such clouds of nameless trouble cross
    All night below the darkened eyes;
    With morning wakes the will, and cries,
"Thou shalt not be the fool of loss."

"In Memoriam" consists of 131 smaller poems of varying length, of which the above poem is an excerpt. Tennyson wrote "In Memoriam" after he learned that his beloved friend Arthur Henry Hallam had died suddenly and unexpectedly of a fever at the age of 22. Hallam was not only the poet's closest friend and confidante, but also the fiancé of his sister. After learning of Hallam's death, Tennyson was overwhelmed with doubts about the meaning of life and the significance of man's existence. He composed the short poems that comprise "In Memoriam" over the course of seventeen years (1833-1849) with no intention of weaving them together, though he ultimately published them as a single lengthy poem in 1850.

A year ago today, my beloved Grandmama passed away.  I wanted to post a poem that would be in memory of her.  The above poem is not perfect for this purpose, but it works to an extent.  I mourn Grandmama's life each day.  Last night I read the post I did last year right after she died.  I sat and cried.  I couldn't help myself.  Then I read the loving comments of my readers, and my spirits were lifted a little.  Though she is now gone, she will forever live in my heart. 

3 comments:

Jay M. said...

My heart goes out to you, Joe. I know her loss was a great one to you, and your family. I'd bet if you think about it, your tears were as much tears of joy as sorrow, in remembering a great lady who was so important to you.

Peace <3
Jay

Amanda said...

It's hard when we lose someone who means so much to us. It's good to remember our loved ones and all the happy memories. ((Hugs))

fan of casey said...

Joe: Sad remembrances, which just highlights the wonderful times you had with your grandmama. Take comfort that her memories will stay with you for a long time and you will never forget.