Random Poetry 2: Tennyson

The Eagle (a Fragment)

Alfred Lord Tennyson


He clasps the crag with crooked hands;

Close to the sun in lonely lands,

Ring’d with the azure world, he stands.


The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;

He watches from his mountain walls,

And like a thunderbolt he falls.

I learned this poem in second or third grade, and I’ve loved it ever since. It’s short, simple and immediate. I love the verb pattern. The eagle “clasps,” “stands,” “watches,” and “falls.” The only other verb in the whole poem refers to the sea.

I love the way this poem gives us a static image of the eagle. He could be a statue. Until we get to the very the last word, the only motion in the whole poem is the crawling of the sea. I find that to be an apt description and it’s especially good since it’s viewed from a great height.

I like that the eagle falls. If you’ve ever seen a bird of prey diving for its lunch, that’s exactly what it looks like, right up to the moment the wings spread and the raptor ascends with its victim. I suspect this eagle is fishing.

text via Public Domain Poetry



4 thoughts on “Random Poetry 2: Tennyson

  1. Thank You for the mind food Gene’o! 🙂 This one literally makes me want to head to the library and pick up a couple of books to read this week; to get to know Tennyson’s works.

    Liked by 1 person

    • YW 🙂

      I don’t like most of his work as much as this. The Eagle isn’t really representative. Most of his poems are longer narratives or lyrics.


  2. (What’s with that avatar to the left of my name? I know I’m half blind but that thing looks too weird. How do I get rid of that one?)


    • There are avatar sets that it uses for people who don’t have avatar images. the blogger picks which style to use and it assigns them randomly. No easy way to get rid of a particular one.


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