Please give a summary of Poem 130 from Tennyson's In Memoriam.

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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This section of this famous poem on the topic of grief and how Tennyson handles the death of his close friend, Alfred Hallam, deals with how Tennyson tries to comfort himself that although his friend has died some part of his essence still remains in nature and can therefore be enjoyed and appreciated by Tennyson as he enjoys and appreciates nature. The first stanza states how Tennyson is able to feel Hallam's presence in the nature that he sees, in "the rising sun." Although clearly Hallam's presence is felt in a different way, this does not diminish Tennyson's love for him, but actually enlarges it:

My love involves the love before;
My love is vaster passion now;
Tho’ mix’d with God and Nature thou,
I seem to love thee more and more.

Note how the speaker characterises his new transformed love of Hallam as being full of "vaster passion" because Hallam is now mixed with "God and Nature." This section of the poem ends with a realisation of the apparent paradox of Hallam and where he is now: although he is "far off" he is at the same time ever-present in the form of nature around him, and the speaker is comforted with the thought that he will not "lose" Hallam until he himself dies. This section therefore explores the continuing relationship between Tennyson and Hallam and how death has impacted that relationship.

 

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