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Tennyson - Lincolnshire's Poet Laureate

Updated on January 22, 2015

To Be A Yellowbelly - Living in Tennyson Country

Tennyson is Lincolnshire's very own poet and Lincolnshire is Tennyson country. I am so privileged to live in Tennyson Country! Lincolnshire was home to the great Alfred Tennyson for most of his life until he became Poet Laureate to Queen Victoria.

Images on this page are my own photography and should not be copied!

A Little More About Tennyson Country....

Where did Tennyson live?

Tennyson is Lincolnshire's very own poet and Lincolnshire is Tennyson country. I am so privileged to live in Tennyson Country! Lincolnshire was home to Alfred Tennyson for most of his life until he became Poet Laureate to Queen Victoria. Lincoln is a perfect city, surrounded by land you can see for miles, and close to some of the prettiest hills and villages in England. Much more than this, the countryside so often inspires me to poetry - but I am not the first. There are many Lincolnshire writers, thinkers and poets of note and perhaps the greatest of these is Alfred Tennyson, the 1st Baron Tennyson, who was 202 years old on the 6th August.


Although Tennyson in later life lived on the Isle Of Wight (A Poet Laureate needs to live near the Queen) he was born and bred not too many miles from where I live! Tennyson is Lincolnshire's Poet Laureate He was inspired by Lincolnshire, and particularly the Wolds. This lens is to celebrate his birthright and inspiration - Tennyson country!

Images on this page are my own photography and should not be copied!

The Old Rectory at Somersby - Tennyson's Birthplace

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On entering the village. Oddly enough, there is no blue plaque to commemorate this. Hence the poet wrote "hostile to hommage" Maybe the present owners do not want guests!View from the other side. This is a private house and not a museum. It is not open to public view.
On entering the village. Oddly enough, there is no blue plaque to commemorate this. Hence the poet wrote "hostile to hommage" Maybe the present owners do not want guests!
On entering the village. Oddly enough, there is no blue plaque to commemorate this. Hence the poet wrote "hostile to hommage" Maybe the present owners do not want guests!
View from the other side. This is a private house and not a museum. It is not open to public view.
View from the other side. This is a private house and not a museum. It is not open to public view.

VISITING TENNYSON'S BIRTHPLACE - A Tennyson Poem by George Trupenny




Easy to find when you know where it is,

The Old Rectory stands hostile to homage

Opposite a church that shows its age,

Repaired, patched or darned rather than restored.



Inside, highly polished and stone-bound-fast,

Silent as a time enfolded sermon,

Alfred, facing an imageless window, stares

Southwards through leaded lights segmenting yew

And harlequin Wold past a leaning cross,

High and significant, raised to remind,

Or just to mark a place. No chiselled words

Explain - a leaflet maybe somewhere tells -

But now it's the past voiced as sacred space

That holds me islanded in used up time.



The falling latch clacks a sensible sound

As I leave - wishing I could have understood

The crowded emptiness that jostled me there.

(c) George Trupenny 2009

Used here with permission of the author.

Source

Alfred Tennyson Poems - The Lady of Shalott

The Lady of Shalott by Alfred, Lord Tennyson


The Lady of Shalott

The Lady of Shalott

Zazzle Design by Persimew

This product line features the Lady of Shalott poster design at the top of the poem. Several items are shown here, but to see others or customize any you like, please follow the link to Zazzle. Thank you.



On either side the river lie

Long fields of barley and of rye,

That clothe the Wold and meet the sky;

And thro' the field the road runs by

To many-tower'd Camelot;

And up and down the people go,

Gazing where the lilies blow

Round an Island there below,

The Island of Shalott.

Willows whiten, aspens quiver,

Little breezes dusk and shiver

Through the wave that runs for ever

By the Island in the river

Flowing down to Camelot.

Four grey walls, and four grey towers,

Overlook a space of flowers,

And the silent isle imbowers

The Lady of Shalott.

By the margin, willow veil'd,

Slide the heavy barges trail'd

By slow horses; and unhail'd

The shallop flitteth silken-sail'd

Skimming down to Camelot:

But who hath seen her wave her hand?

Or at the casement seen her stand?

Or is she known in all the land,

The Lady of Shalott?

Only reapers, reaping early,

In among the bearded barley

Hear a song that echoes cheerly

From the river winding clearly;

Down to tower'd Camelot;

And by the Moon the reaper weary,

Piling sheaves in uplands airy,

Listening, whispers, " 'Tis the fairy

Lady of Shalott."

There she weaves by night and day

A magic web with colours gay.

She has heard a whisper say,

A curse is on her if she stay

To look down to Camelot.

She knows not what the curse may be,

And so she weaveth steadily,

And little other care hath she,

The Lady of Shalott.

And moving through a mirror clear

That hangs before her all the year,

Shadows of the world appear.

There she sees the highway near

Winding down to Camelot;

There the river eddy whirls,

And there the surly village churls,

And the red cloaks of market girls

Pass onward from Shalott.

Sometimes a troop of damsels glad,

An abbot on an ambling pad,

Sometimes a curly shepherd lad,

Or long-hair'd page in crimson clad

Goes by to tower'd Camelot;

And sometimes through the mirror blue

The knights come riding two and two.

She hath no loyal Knight and true,

The Lady of Shalott.

But in her web she still delights

To weave the mirror's magic sights,

For often through the silent nights

A funeral, with plumes and lights

And music, went to Camelot;

Or when the Moon was overhead,

Came two young lovers lately wed.

"I am half sick of shadows," said

The Lady of Shalott.

A bow-shot from her bower-eaves,

He rode between the barley sheaves,

The sun came dazzling thro' the leaves,

And flamed upon the brazen greaves

Of bold Sir Lancelot.

A red-cross knight for ever kneel'd

To a lady in his shield,

That sparkled on the yellow field,

Beside remote Shalott.

The gemmy bridle glitter'd free,

Like to some branch of stars we see

Hung in the golden Galaxy.

The bridle bells rang merrily

As he rode down to Camelot:

And from his blazon'd baldric slung

A mighty silver bugle hung,

And as he rode his armor rung

Beside remote Shalott.

All in the blue unclouded weather

Thick-jewell'd shone the saddle-leather,

The helmet and the helmet-feather

Burn'd like one burning flame together,

As he rode down to Camelot.

As often thro' the purple night,

Below the starry clusters bright,

Some bearded meteor, burning bright,

Moves over still Shalott.

His broad clear brow in sunlight glow'd;

On burnish'd hooves his war-horse trode;

From underneath his helmet flow'd

His coal-black curls as on he rode,

As he rode down to Camelot.

From the bank and from the river

He flashed into the crystal mirror,

"Tirra lirra," by the river

Sang Sir Lancelot.

She left the web, she left the loom,

She made three paces through the room,

She saw the water-lily bloom,

She saw the helmet and the plume,

She look'd down to Camelot.

Out flew the web and floated wide;

The mirror crack'd from side to side;

"The curse is come upon me," cried

The Lady of Shalott.

In the stormy east-wind straining,

The pale yellow woods were waning,

The broad stream in his banks complaining.

Heavily the low sky raining

Over tower'd Camelot;

Down she came and found a boat

Beneath a willow left afloat,

And around about the prow she wrote

The Lady of Shalott.

And down the river's dim expanse

Like some bold seer in a trance,

Seeing all his own mischance --

With a glassy countenance

Did she look to Camelot.

And at the closing of the day

She loosed the chain, and down she lay;

The broad stream bore her far away,

The Lady of Shalott.

Lying, robed in snowy white

That loosely flew to left and right --

The leaves upon her falling light --

Thro' the noises of the night,

She floated down to Camelot:

And as the boat-head wound along

The willowy hills and fields among,

They heard her singing her last song,

The Lady of Shalott.

Heard a carol, mournful, holy,

Chanted loudly, chanted lowly,

Till her blood was frozen slowly,

And her eyes were darkened wholly,

Turn'd to tower'd Camelot.

For ere she reach'd upon the tide

The first house by the water-side,

Singing in her song she died,

The Lady of Shalott.

Under tower and balcony,

By garden-wall and gallery,

A gleaming shape she floated by,

Dead-pale between the houses high,

Silent into Camelot.

Out upon the wharfs they came,

Knight and Burgher, Lord and Dame,

And around the prow they read her name,

The Lady of Shalott.

Who is this? And what is here?

And in the lighted palace near

Died the sound of royal cheer;

And they crossed themselves for fear,

All the Knights at Camelot;

But Lancelot mused a little space

He said, "She has a lovely face;

God in his mercy lend her grace,

The Lady of Shalott."

Source

My Tennyson Photos - My images of Tennyson in Lincoln

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Crossing The Bar

Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1892)

A deeply thoughtful and metaphysical poem about facing death....


Sunset and evening star,

And one clear call for me!

And may there be no moaning of the bar,

When I put out to sea,

But such a tide as moving seems asleep,

Too full for sound and foam,

When that which drew from out the boundless deep

Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,

And after that the dark!

And may there be no sadness of farewell,

When I embark;

For though from out our bourne of Time and Place

The flood may bear me far,

I hope to see my Pilot face to face

When I have crossed the bar.

Listen To Tennyson Poems Here - Hear Tennyson read his poem

This great site even includes a wax cylinder recording of Tennyson himself reading The Charge of the Light Brigade!

St Margaret's Church at Somersby - Opposite the Rectory

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The Church of St Margaret's at Somersby. Tennyson's father was Rector here.A view of the churchyard at Somersby. The church is opposite the Old Rectory which is Tennyson's birthplace.Inside the church at Somersby. At the front left you can see a bust of Alfred Tennyson.Close up of the front pew and the bust of Tennyson.
The Church of St Margaret's at Somersby. Tennyson's father was Rector here.
The Church of St Margaret's at Somersby. Tennyson's father was Rector here.
A view of the churchyard at Somersby. The church is opposite the Old Rectory which is Tennyson's birthplace.
A view of the churchyard at Somersby. The church is opposite the Old Rectory which is Tennyson's birthplace.
Inside the church at Somersby. At the front left you can see a bust of Alfred Tennyson.
Inside the church at Somersby. At the front left you can see a bust of Alfred Tennyson.
Close up of the front pew and the bust of Tennyson.
Close up of the front pew and the bust of Tennyson.

Tennyson Poetry - Lord Tennyson's Favourite Pub! - The White Hart Hotel, Tetford, Host to the Tetford Literary Club

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Approaching the White Hart Hotel at Tetford.The White Hart Hotel also doubled as the Tetford Literary Club. No doubt Tennyson as a member had many debates with local literati, including his minor poet brothers.The Tetford Literary Club also boasts Sam Johnson as a visitor a long, long time ago. Obviously the pub was very much the centre of the Tetford community and known by famous visitors to Lincolnshire!Entering the White Hart Hotel....We can well imagine Alfred Tennyson seated in one of these vintage pub seats enjoying an evening drinking with friends.Tennyson also played skittles in his local pub....
Approaching the White Hart Hotel at Tetford.
Approaching the White Hart Hotel at Tetford.
The White Hart Hotel also doubled as the Tetford Literary Club. No doubt Tennyson as a member had many debates with local literati, including his minor poet brothers.
The White Hart Hotel also doubled as the Tetford Literary Club. No doubt Tennyson as a member had many debates with local literati, including his minor poet brothers.
The Tetford Literary Club also boasts Sam Johnson as a visitor a long, long time ago. Obviously the pub was very much the centre of the Tetford community and known by famous visitors to Lincolnshire!
The Tetford Literary Club also boasts Sam Johnson as a visitor a long, long time ago. Obviously the pub was very much the centre of the Tetford community and known by famous visitors to Lincolnshire!
Entering the White Hart Hotel....
Entering the White Hart Hotel....
We can well imagine Alfred Tennyson seated in one of these vintage pub seats enjoying an evening drinking with friends.
We can well imagine Alfred Tennyson seated in one of these vintage pub seats enjoying an evening drinking with friends.
Tennyson also played skittles in his local pub....
Tennyson also played skittles in his local pub....

Exploring Tennyson Country



As you can see from this picture, there are many Tennyson Exhibitions you can enjoy. You can use the leaflets here to take a guided walk through the countryside Tennyson knew and loved. I will show you some of these Lincolnshire views in my next module.


Although all Yellowbellies the world over are justifiable proud of Tennyson, their home grown poet, it is fair to say that he had to move to the Isle of Wight in later life to be near Queen Victoria - such is the job of Poet Laureate!

Maureen Sutton - Lincolnshire Lass, Singer and Folklorist - Buy Maureen Sutton's books on Lincolnshire Lore and women's wisdom

Maureen is a friend I have known since 1981. She was an outstanding folk singer in the local area then and these days she focuses on writing about folklore and also writes poetry. I was delighted to find her books on Amazon and am happy to promote them here!

Views of Tennyson Country

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A view across Lincolnshire cornfields to the Wolds in the distance.The White Hart Hotel at Tetford, this was Tennyson's local pub.Travelling over the B roads with trees forming tunnels. This must have been such a romantic view when the road was just a track....A view along the hedgerow shows the rich agricultural land of which Lincolnshire boasts.A view from the stone bridge into the trees caught this odd light figure on digital camera. Could the ghost of Tennyson have been paddling in the stream perhaps?This cottage near Bag Enderby is one of several surviving thatched cottages in this part of Lincolnshire.The Old Rectory at Somersby is where Tennyson was born.Another view across the fields anticipating a rich harvest.The churchyard of St Margaret's at Somersby where Tennyson's father was Rector.
A view across Lincolnshire cornfields to the Wolds in the distance.
A view across Lincolnshire cornfields to the Wolds in the distance.
The White Hart Hotel at Tetford, this was Tennyson's local pub.
The White Hart Hotel at Tetford, this was Tennyson's local pub.
Travelling over the B roads with trees forming tunnels. This must have been such a romantic view when the road was just a track....
Travelling over the B roads with trees forming tunnels. This must have been such a romantic view when the road was just a track....
A view along the hedgerow shows the rich agricultural land of which Lincolnshire boasts.
A view along the hedgerow shows the rich agricultural land of which Lincolnshire boasts.
A view from the stone bridge into the trees caught this odd light figure on digital camera. Could the ghost of Tennyson have been paddling in the stream perhaps?
A view from the stone bridge into the trees caught this odd light figure on digital camera. Could the ghost of Tennyson have been paddling in the stream perhaps?
This cottage near Bag Enderby is one of several surviving thatched cottages in this part of Lincolnshire.
This cottage near Bag Enderby is one of several surviving thatched cottages in this part of Lincolnshire.
The Old Rectory at Somersby is where Tennyson was born.
The Old Rectory at Somersby is where Tennyson was born.
Another view across the fields anticipating a rich harvest.
Another view across the fields anticipating a rich harvest.
The churchyard of St Margaret's at Somersby where Tennyson's father was Rector.
The churchyard of St Margaret's at Somersby where Tennyson's father was Rector.

Favourite Tennyson Poems

What is your favourite Tennyson poem?

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Thank you!

Did you enjoy your brief visit to Tennyson Country? - I hope that you will be back soon.....

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