Interesting class today in Brit Lit. When we get to Tennyson things always start to come together since in Tennyson we see another one of those poets and thinkers who has his feet and head and work slipping into the future. Easy to say now, though; in the present, who knows what the future holds.
Anyway, it was good to see Neha but she have been able to tell me that the word I couldn’t find was the “sublime” and its relevance to Tennyson and the images that populate and grow in In Memoriam such as the image of grasping, hands, and light and dark, the divisions of cycles. We talked a lot about death and absence. The subject of heaven came up which is a notion important to the poem, not in a stated way but in the way believers in heaven may think about death in a Christian context. Sorrow in Tennyson is a liar and grants tempting secrets. According to some, everyone is already in heaven given that heaven is an absolute with no coordinates in space and on no time arrow. In this Aquinian sense, in Heaven everyone has yet to be born, everyone is living, and everyone has passed. This is a confusing and comforting thought for mortals. Christian, one of our youthful members, had a tough time grasping the idea that he’s already in “Heaven.” An odd theory.
It was great to see you too. However, I would’ve said sublime if you’d thought of Wordsworth. I’ll keep it in mind for Tennyson for the next Brit Lit class I sit in on.
In my defense, I did say contemplation, and it’s very closely connected to the sublime, so I guess I was a little close.
If we have already completed our lives and are in heaven, does what we do NOW matter? Have our lives and fates been predetermined, already played out?
Is the thought of us already being in heaven comforting or does it take away motivation?
Or is that a copout?