The Poem from In Memoriam A.H.H. Questions and Answers
by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

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Explain "In Memoriam" as related to emotions recollected in tranquility.

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The poem is Tennyson's elegy for his dear friend Arthur Hugh Hallam who also happened to be his sister's fiance.  Arthur was supposedly an extraordinary man who showed great promise, but was ripped from this world due to the onset of a sudden fever.  The elegy is comprised of 131 separate lyrics and asks and discusses profound questions about the meaning of life and death and the immortality of the soul.  In lyric 55, line 20, Tennyson explains this phrase in his Memoirs: "that the whole human race would through, perhaps, ages of suffering, be at length purified and saved."  Additionally, Lyric 55 envisions the possibility that God and Nature may be "at strife."  Furthermore, Nature addresses this complaint in Lyric 56.  As the poem continues, the reader can notice the difference between the aspects of nature described in Lyrics 55, 56 and in Lyric 130.  Lastly, the structure of Lyric 95 differs from the rest  since it moves from a particular, local scene to "empyreal heights of thought" and then returns to the original scene.  This movement can be related to the speaker's mood in Lyrics 55, 56, and 130.  Since he is deep in thought and moving towards the highest domains of intellectual functioning, a sense of tranquility has taken over.  The fact that he is able to synthesize such complex ideas has created a calmness within him.

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