July 14, 2011

Break, Break Break

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--Description: 19th C, Tennyson A., Life, Nature--

Break, break, break,
On thy cold gray stones, O Sea!
And I would that my tongue could utter
The thoughts that arise in me.

O, well for the fisherman's boy,
That he shouts with his sister at play!
O, well for the sailor lad,
That he sings in his boat on the bay!

And the stately ships go on
To their haven under the hill;
But O for the touch of a vanished hand,
And the sound of a voice that is still!

Break, break, break,
At the foot of thy crags, O Sea!
But the tender grace of a day that is dead
Will never come back to me.


Alfred, Lord Tennyson

--Did You Know: (6 August 1809 – 6 October 1892) Tennyson was much better known as "Alfred, Lord Tennyson," and was Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom during much of Queen Victoria's reign and remains one of the most popular poets in the English language. Tennyson excelled at penning short lyrics, "In the valley of Cauteretz", "Break, break, break", "The Charge of the Light Brigade", "Tears, idle tears" and "Crossing the Bar". Much of his verse was based on classical mythological themes, although In Memoriam A.H.H. was written to commemorate his best friend Arthur Hallam, a fellow poet and classmate at Trinity College, Cambridge, who was engaged to Tennyson's sister, but died from a cerebral hemorrhage before they were married. Tennyson also wrote some notable blank verse including Idylls of the King, Ulysses, and Tithonus. His use of blank verse, rare in his day, may be related to his complete tone deafness which made it hard for him to follow the conventional rhythms of the poetry of his day. During his career, Tennyson attempted drama, but his plays enjoyed little success. Tennyson wrote a number of phrases that 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", "Knowledge comes, but Wisdom lingers", and "The old order changeth, yielding place to new". He is the second most frequently quoted writer in The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations after Shakespeare. Read more at: Alfred, Lord Tennyson

--Word of the Day: occlude \uh-KLOOD\, verb:
1. To shut in, out, or off.
2. Physical Chemistry. (Of certain metals and other solids) to incorporate (gases and other foreign substances), as by absorption or adsorption.
3. Dentistry. To shut or close, with the cusps of the opposing teeth of the upper and lower jaws fitting together.
Example:
Were you afraid that this person would eclipse you, would occlude your very being, that your life would become the baby and nothing else, and that - and this is the most important thing - you wouldn't mind?
-Joanna Smith Rakoff, A fortunate age: a novel

--Quote of the Day: It is our choices ... that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.
- J. K. Rowling (Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets)

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