The Archetype that Waits: ‘Oh! that ‘twere possible’, In Memoriam

  • Aidan Day


‘We do not profess perfectly to understand the somewhat mysterious contribution of Mr Alfred Tennyson, entitled “Stanzas” ’, declared the Edinburgh Review for October 1837. The stanzas referred to were those of the lyric beginning ‘Oh! that ‘twere possible’, published earlier in the year in The Tribute, an anthology edited by Lord Northampton. ‘Oh! that ‘twere possible’ is indeed a strange piece, but the obscurities which puzzled the Edinburgh reviewer conceal an important connection between The Lover’s Tale of 1832 and both In Memoriam and Maud.


Paradise Lost Dual Aspect Prolonged Grief Spiritual Reality Diffusive Power 
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© Aidan Day 2005

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  • Aidan Day

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