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Just Listen Podcast: Tennyson Poetry

Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron Tennyson was a British poet. He was the Poet Laureate of Great Britain and Ireland during much of Queen Victoria's reign and remains one of the most popular British poets.

Although decried by some critics as overly sentimental, his verse soon proved popular and brought Tennyson to the attention of well-known writers of the day, including Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Tennyson's early poetry, with its medievalism and powerful visual imagery, was a major influence on the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, a group of Victorian-era painters.

A number of phrases from Tennyson's work have become commonplaces of the English language, including "Nature, red in tooth and claw," “Tis better to have loved and lost / Than never to have loved at all," "Theirs not to reason why, / Theirs but to do and die," "My strength is as the strength of ten, / Because my heart is pure," "To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield," "Knowledge comes, but Wisdom lingers," and "The old order changeth, yielding place to new.”  He is the ninth most frequently quoted writer in The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations.

Today we examine three of Tennyson’s poems, “Ulysses,” “The Lady of Shalott, and “Tears, Idle Tears.”