The Eagle: A Fragment

by Lord Alfred Tennyson

He clasps the crag with crooked hands;
Close to the sun in lonely lands,
Ringed with the azure world, he stands.

The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;
He watches from his mountain walls,
And like a thunderbolt he falls.

 

 


John James Audubon

Title:

Eagle: A Fragment, The

Poet:

Tennyson, Lord Alfred

Year of Publication:

1851

Age Appropriate:

10-11

Subject:

Birds: eagle

Theme:

Living things

Stanza:

2

Type:

Lyric

Meter:

Iambic tetrameter

Literary Period:

Victorian

Things to Discuss:

The poem has two three line verses. They describe characteristics of the eagle - the poet wanted to point out contrasts. He offers the reader a simple subject-verb phrase - Do you see it?

About the Poem:

Tennyson does not use the term "fragment" to indicate that there is more to this poem. It has been suggested that this was a poet's way of telling the reader that the story is incomplete.

About the Poet:

Tennyson was appointed by Queen Victoria to be England’s Poet Laureate in 1850, a year before The Eagle was first published. He served in that position until his death in 1892. He is considered to be one of the most influential literary voices during the reign of Queen Victoria.

Glossary of Terms:

crag: rocky cliff