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Tears, Idyle Tears

5 Pages 1233 Words

Introduction :
"Tears, idle tears" is a poem written in blank verse – unrhymed iambic pentameter. It consists of four five-line stanzas, each of which closes with the words "The days that are no more".
This recurring sentence is the frame of each stanza and of the poem itself. Does it refer to death ? Or is it a mere yearning for the past ?

Fisrt stanza :
The first word of the poem being "tears" is significant because it highlights the subject matter of the poem. Throughout the poem Tennyson explores the reasons for his tears to find out why he is experiencing them. Tennyson uses an oxymoron (divine /despair) when he describes them as :

"Tears from the depth of some divine despair"
The word 'divine' has religious connotations as it means heavenly or sacred, but 'despair' seems opposite as it means to lose all hope ; the poet is describing very powerful emotions. I feel that the speaker is saying that one of the possible reasons for his tears is the loss of hope in God. The alliteration of the consonant 'd' creates a sense of rhythm. Tennyson uses nature imagery when he says :

"In looking on the happy Autumn-fields,"
The image is made stronger by the use of personification, which makes it seem as if the fields themselves are happy, although it is just the feeling they evoke in the speaker. Tennyson uses a paradox because he is describing emotions that contradict each other, despair and happiness. The end of the last line of each stanza is :

"the days that are no more"
This creates a pattern in the poem and also acts as a summary to each stanza, and to the poem as a whole, because the speaker discovers that the reasons for his tears are his thoughts about "the days that are no more". This could mean death, or just simply moments in the past that you can't get back again.

Second stanza :
Tennyson says: "Fresh as the first beam glittering on a sail,"
The freshness of memories is what is being desc...

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