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In Memoriam - Learning Resource KS4

Learning Resources for In Memoriam A.H.H

1. Compare two anniversaries: The healing power of time

Compare Lyric 72 with Lyric 99 (please see images below).

  • Lyric 72 First anniversary of Hallam’s death 15th Sept 1834. ‘howl’ ‘blast’ ‘lash’ ‘hide thy shame beneath the ground’
  • Lyric 99 The second anniversary of Hallam’s death. ‘balmy’ ‘lowings’ ‘murmurest’ .’They know me not, yet mourn with me.’

2. Journey through grief

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross in On Death and Dying 1969, identified five stages when being faced with the reality of death: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance.

Kübler-Ross originally applied these stages to people suffering from terminal illness, later to any form of catastrophic personal loss, including the death of a loved one. Just before her own death she did warn that ‘Our grief is as individual as our lives. Not everyone goes through all of [the stages] or goes through them in a prescribed order.’ Elisabeth Kubler-Ross On Grief and Grieving 2004.

Using these five stages, plot the course of Tennyson’s grief through In Memoriam. See below for an example of a rather longer journey through grief.

A 15 Stage Journey in Grief in In Memoriam:

  • Find quotes from the images which reflect these stages:
  • I’m a bit embarrassed at how over-wrought I’ve been. (Prologue)
  • I can’t help imagining the decaying body and where it is. (II)
  • The rituals of the burial services give me a way of saying my howls of grief. (05 V)
  • Was it all as wonderful as I say? Is the past always better? (21 XXIV )
  • Even though it is really hard, it’s better to be going through all this pain because it meant I did experience love. (22 XXVII )
  • I must cling on to idea that I will be better and wiser because of this sorrow.
  • I have to believe it was all meant to be - but it’s difficult when see how cruel and careless Nature is.
  • You were and are too good for me. (LX)
  • I cannot remember the beloved’s face. LXX
  • These poems might not be appreciated by anyone else. Does it matter? I’m writing for myself XXVII)
  • New friends can’t compare to you LXXXV
  • Sudden desperate physical longing. XCIII
  • Sudden vivid memories. XCV
  • Moving on. XV
  • It is part of human nature to be with others. CVIII.

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Last updated: 23 February 2011

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