Topics for Further Study
• In 1850, the year that “Proem” was published, Tennyson became the poet laureate of England, replacing William Wordsworth. Research and report on how the differences in the two men’s styles affected British literature.
• Research the seven stages of grief that have been outlined by Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross and other psychiatrists. See which parts of the poem can be traced to each stage.
• The poem refers to the night and day as “orbs of light and shade.” Look up the ancient theory that held that the sun and planets were held in spheres that surrounded the Earth and create a three-dimensional model to present this idea to your class.
• Near the end of the poem, Tennyson, one of Britain’s most famous poets, asks God to forgive his “wild and wandering cries.” Many of today’s most popular musicians, by contrast, tend to brag about their achievements. Write a poem or essay that outlines your position on the importance of humility.