What is a stanza-by-stanza summary of the poem "The Brook" by Alfred Lord Tennyson?

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Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A summary of Tennyson's "The Brook" is a very straightforward thing once you realize that the poetic voice, or the speaker, in this simple allegorical poem is the personified brook (who may be viewed as Immortality in opposition to humankind's toil and transience): "I come from haunts of coot and hern,". [A haunt is a much frequented place. A coot is an aquatic bird. A hern is a heron bird.] The brook is saying that it originates at a large body of water where coot and hern congregate.

Each stanza highlights the brook's progress to its destination that is revealed in the last stanza, which is "the brimming river," and to the delivery of the theme and purpose of the poem, which is that "men may come and men may go, / But I go on forever."

The brook's journey takes it past (S. 2) "a little town" where people dwell; by (S. 3) "Philip's farm" where a family grows; (S. 4) over stones, eddies and pebbles; and (S. 5) past curves and willow-weed, while (S. 7) it chatters and flows and "men may come and men may go."

It (S. 8) winds about with blossom and trout above (S. 9) "golden gravel" and (S. 10) draws them all along, for it (S. 11) goes on "forever." It passes (S. 12) lawns, forget-me-not flowers and "happy lovers" as it (S. 13) slips and slides with swallow birds and sunbeams. Under (S. 14) "moon and stars" it (S. 15) curves and flows

To join the brimming river,
For men may come and men may go,
But I go on forever.

komalchauhan | Student

The poem is about a long stream . The poet starts the poem by describing the journey of the stream,it starts from a place that is frequently visited by coot(a water bird with a white spot on the head) and hern(heron;another type of water bird) and make a sudden emerge. They flows out among te bushes and flow down a Vally with lot of noise. It crosses thirty hills , slip down the ridges, twenty villages, fifty bridges. The poet also do a comparison between stream and human that man take birth and die but i live forever. The poem is mainly about the journey of stream and how at philip's farm it join the river. The poet also has created a beautiful picture of nature like blossom sailing on stream , the falling sun lights forming a sparkle net on stream ,the mixture of sand and stones forming a silvery water break, of a type of flower that grow for happy lovers.
The poem will refresh the streams of brains and invite you to  enjoy the nice cool winds flowing near the stream

santhil | Student

In the poem brook the poet compares the life the brook with that of the man.He says that the BROOK when comes from haunted places is fresh and lively.It is compared to a man at his young age.he behaves as so he is energetic and fresh.The BROOK slows down when it reaches the plains which in compared with a man who has the burden of his family,his job and surroundings.But the poet concludes that the brook is immortal because because it joins the mighty ocean and becomesw a part of it but man is born th die and is mortal.He compares differerent stages of brook eith that of the man.He uses a lot of attractive words describing its movement and sound.It is really a wonderful poem written by TENNYSON.

falsefantasy | Student

In its initial stages, the brook rshes down the hills and valleys, while chattering energetically.

The poet has used words like "chatter", "bubble", "babble" etc. to highlight the playful child-like attitude of the brook.

Both, the human life and the brook, encounter and overcome obstacles, make a perilious journey in order to reach their ultimate destination.The brook goes down to join the river and the human beings see the end of the circle of life.

The brook crosses a number of villages, hills, valleys etc., carries with it whatever comes in its way(fishes, flowers, weeds, pebbles/stones) in order to reach where it has to. The human life works in a similar fashion. The brook is full of fishes(graylings, trouts), an indication oflife inside it. This is just like the human body that too can carry life. 

In the final stages of its journey, the brook sobers down, it is described with words like "steal", "slide", "murmur", "loiter", "linger" etc.. The human life also in the later years shows similar signs. While the brook flows eternally, the human life is limited to a fewnumber of years, it is mortal.

hotpink | Student

What is the main idea of the poem