Alfred Lord Tennyson

(6 August 1809 – 6 October 1892 / Lincoln / England)

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
........................
........................
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Form: Dramatic Monologue

# 126 poem on top 500 Poems


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Comments about this poem (Ulysses by Alfred Lord Tennyson )

  • Gold Star - 6,992 Points Frank Avon (8/30/2014 11:24:00 PM)

    Of Tennyson's many, I still think this one is his best - unsentimental, regularly iambic but simulating plain speech, simple and accessible, but thoughtful and rather sophisticated. To have written one such poem is to have earned the reputation of a genuine poet. (And, of course, Tennyson has many, many others.) (Report) Reply

  • Veteran Poet - 1,625 Points Laura Burns (8/30/2014 9:33:00 AM)

    This poem is based less on the Odyssey than on Dante's discussion of Ulysses in the Divine Comedy. (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 14,949 Points Mohammad Skati (8/30/2014 9:18:00 AM)

    A great poem by a genius poet. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 60 Points William B. Petricko (9/29/2013 11:50:00 PM)

    Only recently discovered this gem and was so taken with it that within a week I had memorized it.
    It must be an age thing but I doubt if I could have resonated with this poem 40 years ago when I was taking English Literature in university. What a timely find. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 677 Points Muzaffer Akin (8/30/2013 2:54:00 PM)

    Perfect poem..when I'll write like that beautiful poems...never! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 19 Points Goldheart Bird (8/30/2013 1:24:00 PM)

    Wonderful poem! Love it (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 38,094 Points Aftab Alam Khursheed (8/30/2013 2:31:00 AM)

    Ulysses by Alfred Lord Tennyson in poetic form and the same James Joyce in a prose form or a novel both are the great work LT perfection on historical poem is indeed a great work we must read to grasp the style (Report) Reply

  • Freshman - 605 Points Shahzia Batool (8/30/2013 12:45:00 AM)

    a celebrated piece...! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Gisela Van Reenen (9/16/2012 7:12:00 AM)

    Yes, indeed, a wonderful, wonderful poem. Read it together with Cavafy's Ithaca. Absolutely breathtaking! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Kevin Straw (8/30/2012 11:29:00 AM)

    There is something in this kind of poetry which puts a spell on the reader. It gets into the blood stream and creates in the reader the feelings and the thoughts of the hero - as one reads, the breath quickens, and the body longs to be out there with Ulysses chancing one's arm against fate. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 508 Points Ramesh T A (8/30/2012 9:11:00 AM)

    Tennyson sought to achieve perfection others of his age never thought about! His quest for classical range as the taste of it is felt in this poem talks much about his ability in poetry! His poems are just like polished gems rare to be found among many of his calibre! (Report) Reply

  • Freshman - 939 Points Saadat Tahir (8/30/2012 3:02:00 AM)

    @ shahzia...
    i so agree there...indeed lovely lines with an almost exotic charm, one reads in wonderment as the words literally from the sky, dance a tango fit neatly right in place to complete the jigsaw that the great poet’s mind weaves in astonishing richness.

    Some lines are picked verbatim from the original toils...and yet they fit in flawlessly

    wow to the masters.
    *** (Report) Reply

  • Freshman - 605 Points Shahzia Batool (8/30/2012 1:23:00 AM)

    My favorite lines from this master-piece:

    I cannot rest from travel; I will drink
    Life to the lees.................
    -----------
    Old age hath yet his honor and his toil.
    -------------
    It may be that the gulfs will wash us down;
    It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
    --------------
    ---------------
    but strong in will
    To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Loma Silsbury (6/3/2012 1:52:00 AM)

    My love of literature knows no bounds and

    Old age hath yet his honor and his toil.
    Death closes all; but something ere the end,
    Some work of noble note, may yet be done,
    Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods...

    Come, my friends.
    'T is not too late to seek a newer world
    ... for my purpose holds
    To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
    Of all the western stars, until I die.

    thus quoted has always been pure inspiration to this septuagenarian.. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 13 Points Champs Ulysses Cabinatan (1/23/2011 1:36:00 AM)

    one of the best poems :) (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Edward Coleman (8/3/2010 9:28:00 PM)

    My favorite. Tennyson's Ulysses turned me on to poetry when I was 18. My next favorite poem is Thomas Hardy's Neutral Tones. I'm now making my way through Emily Dickinson. She's tough. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Elisabeth Bowman (5/7/2010 11:33:00 AM)

    I really like this poem! ! : D (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 971 Points Marieta Maglas (7/18/2009 3:23:00 PM)

    I must write that I feel so good to be here, near this great poet, whose poetry is the great love of my life.I have a feeling of happiness and I feel, also, the eternity... (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Deborah Schuff (3/20/2009 11:56:00 PM)

    'Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.' -Dylan Thomas (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Paddy Harris (11/15/2008 11:37:00 AM)

    Indeed, a work of art. (Report) Reply



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