"Indian Cama" — a note to Tennyson's "The Palace of Art"

George P. Landow, Professor of English and the History of Art, Brown University

Christopher Ricks (408n) cites Tennyson's own explanation from the memoirs: Cama (or Camdeo) is "the Hindu God of young love, son of Brahma," and he points out that in "Love" the poet quoted Sir William Jones's "Hymn to Camdeo." (Does Camdeo mean "the god Cam" since it is formed from Cam plus deo/deus [god]?).

Tennyson not only introduces another religion that is a creation of the "Caucasian" mind he also cites the first of three examples of sexual love, those in the following stanzas both coming from Greek and Roman mythology.

[Back to the passage in "The Palace of Art"]


Tennyson, Alfred. The Poems. Ed. Christopher Ricks. (Longmans Annotated Poets Series) London: Longmans, 1969.

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Last modified 11 October 2005