Ulysses

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by klempac722
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Poetry

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Ulysses

It little profits that an idle king, By this still hearth, among these barren crags, Match’d with an aged wife, I mete and dole Unequal laws unto a savage race, That hoard and sleep, and feed, and know not me. 5 I cannot rest from travel: I will drink Life to the lees: all times I have enjoy’d Greatly, have suffer’d greatly, both with those That loved me, and alone; on shore, and when Thro’ scudding drifts the rainy Hyades 10 Vext the dim sea: I am become a name; For always roaming with a hungry heart Much have I seen and known; cities of men And manners, climates, councils, governments, Myself not least, but honour’d of them all; 15And drunk delight of battle with my peers, Far on the ringing plains of windy Troy. I am a part of all that I have met; Yet all experience is an arch wherethro’ Gleams that untravell’d world, whose margin fades 20 For ever and for ever when I move. How dull it is to pause, to make an end, To rust unburnish’d, not to shine in use! As tho’ to breathe were life. Life piled on life Were all too little, and of one to me 25 Little remains: but every hour is saved From that eternal silence, something more, A bringer of new things; and vile it were For some three suns to store and hoard myself, And this gray spirit yearning in desire 30 To follow knowledge, like a sinking star, Beyond the utmost bound of human thought. This is my son, mine own Telemachus, To whom I leave the sceptre and the isle— Well-loved of me, discerning to fulfil 35 This labour, by slow prudence to make mild A rugged people, and thro’ soft degrees Subdue them to the useful and the good. Most blameless is he, centred in the sphere Of common duties, decent not to fail 40 In offices of tenderness, and pay Meet adoration to my household gods, When I am gone. He works his work, I mine. There lies the port: the vessel puffs her sail: There gloom the dark broad seas. My mariners, 45 Souls that have toil’d, and wrought, and thought with meThat ever with a frolic welcome took The thunder and the sunshine, and opposed Free hearts, free foreheads—you and I are old; Old age hath yet his honour and his toil; 50 Death closes all: but something ere the end, Some work of noble note, may yet be done, Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods. The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks: The long day wanes: the slow moon climbs: the deep 55 Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends, ’Tis not too late to seek a newer world. Push off, and sitting well in order smite The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths 60 Of all the western stars until I die. It may be that the gulfs will wash us down: It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles, And see the great Achilles, whom we knew. Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’ 65 We are not now that strength which in old days Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts, Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield. 70

Born on August 6, 1809, in Somersby, Lincolnshire, England, Alfred Tennyson is one of the most well-loved Victorian poets. Tennyson, the fourth of twelve children, showed an early talent for writing. At the age of twelve he wrote a 6,000-line epic poem. Tennyson left home in 1827 to attend Trinity College, Cambridge. In 1830, Tennyson published Poems, Chiefly Lyrical and in 1832 he published a second volume entitled Poems. Some reviewers condemned these books as "Affected" and "Obscure." stung by the reviews Tennyson would not publish another book for nine years. In 1842 Tennyson's Poems in two volumes was a tremendous critical and popular success. In 1850 Tennyson became one of Britain's most popular poets. At the age of 41, Tennyson had established himself as the most popular poet of the Victorian era. In 1859, Tennyson published the first poems of Idylls of the Kings, which sold more than 10,000 copies in one month. Tennyson died on October 6, 1892, and was buried in Westminster Abbey. Influences On The PoemIn a two-volume collection of “Poems,” Tennyson writes “Ulysses” after the death of a close friend, Arthur Henry Hallam. Hallam inspired the character Ulysses, while the loss of the special friendship influenced the tone of the piece. The Ancient Greek hero describes his loathing of regal position and desire to travel before his impending death. Amongst the underlying grief, Tennyson utilized the poetic form of dramatic monologue to protest the social values of the era.

ParaphraseFacing old age, mythical hero Ulysses describes his discontent and restlessness upon returning to his kingdom, Ithaca, after his far-ranging travels. Despite his reunion with his wife Penelope and son Telemachus, Ulysses yearns to explore again.SpeakerThe speaker is Ulysses; he's a semi-retired soldier who's also a king. IdentifyLines 6 and 7 compares living life to the joy of drinking by using a metaphor.Line 12 is a metaphor. This metaphor compares the speaker to a predatory animal who is always on the move. Line 16 is a metaphor as well. This metaphor compares the joy of battle to drinking.The simile in line 31 compares the pursuit of knowledge to using a star as a guide as sailors did.Line 68 also is a metaphor. This last metaphor implies that him and his old crew are alike in that they are heroes with a strong will to go on quests.ToneElegiac, Contemplative, and at the end it is Hopeful. Title"Ulysses" is the Roman name for the Greek hero Odysseus, the mythical king of Ithaca who fought in the Trojan War alongside Achilles, Agamemnon, Menelaus, and others.MessageThe central theme of “Ulysses” is that there is a search for adventure, experience, and meaning which makes life worth living.

Connection:This picture demonstrates the fierce battle of the Trojan War. The Greeks won that war because of a genius plan Ulysses devised. The plan was to build a giant wooden horse and present it as a gift to the Trojans. Hiding inside was Ulysses and his army, and when the Trojans fell asleep the Greek army attacked. This plan worked making Ulysses a household name in ancient times. The aftermath of the war consisted of Ulysses’ adventures at seas, the experiences he wishes to repeat.

Growing oldby: Matthew ArnoldWhat is it to grow old?Is it to lose the glory of the form,The lustre of the eye?Is it for beauty to forego her wreath?Yes, but not for this alone. 5Is it to feel our strength -Not our bloom only, but our strength -decay?Is it to feel each limbGrow stiffer, every function less exact,Each nerve more weakly strung? 10Yes, this, and more! but not,Ah, 'tis not what in youth we dreamed 'twould be!'Tis not to have our lifeMellowed and softened as with sunset-glow,A golden day's decline! 15'Tis not to see the worldAs from a height, with rapt prophetic eyes,And heart profoundly stirred;And weep, and feel the fulness of the past,The years that are no more! 20It is to spend long daysAnd not once feel that we were ever young.It is to add, immuredIn the hot prison of the present, monthTo month with weary pain. 25It is to suffer this,And feel but half, and feebly, what we feel:Deep in our hidden heartFesters the dull remembrance of a change,But no emotion - none. 30It is - last stage of all -When we are frozen up within, and quiteThe phantom of ourselves,To hear the world applaud the hollow ghostWhich blamed the living man. 35

To Hear ThePoem Press This:

Connection:These poems have a similar point. They both talk about how when you get old, you will have long days with nothing to do. Then everyday you will be thinking about the past and the great times that you had when you were younger. Both poems really emphasize that desire to relive the glory days.

Gradually, when we get old, we will be having longer days and nothing to do and then we start just pushing each day month on month, thinking of our past and the great times we had, realizing nothing is going to return back. It is just like being in a prison, the present would be.

Made By: Catherine Klempa

Connection:This song is about knowing when it’s time to move on. If you can feel the grass growing underfoot it means that you have stayed in one place too long. Ulysses can feel the grass growing. That is why he is making his son the new king, and why he is leaving on a ship and reconnecting with his old crew at the end of the poem.

References:Finnegan, C. (2014, July 28). 30 Songs to Fuel Your Summer Vacation. Retrieved March 21, 2015, from http://mashable.com/2014/07/28/summer-vacation-music-monday-spotify-playlist/Knowledge, M. (2012, October 26). A Primer on Greek Mythology: Part III — The Trojan War. Retrieved March 21, 2015, from http://www.artofmanliness.com/2012/10/26/a-mans-primer-on-greek-mythology-part-iii-the-trojan-war/Knowledge. (n.d.). Lord Alfred Tennyson. Retrieved March 21, 2015, from http://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poet/lord-alfred-tennysonNorton, W. (2006, January 1). Tennyson's Ulysses as a Victorian Role Model. Retrieved March 21, 2015, from http://www.123helpme.com/tennysons-ulysses-as-a-victorian-role-model--preview.asp?id=230301Ulysses. (n.d.). Retrieved March 21, 2015, from http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/174659#poemTennyson’s Poetry. (n.d.). Retrieved March 21, 2015, from http://www.sparknotes.com/poetry/tennyson/context.html


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