"Every landscape fair, As fit for every mood of mind" — a note to Tennyson's "The Palace of Art"

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

Tennyson, who here sums up both the subject and method of this section of the poem, the use of the so-called paysage interieure, or interior landscape, to capture a mood or emotion. This method had provided the entire method of an entire poem — "Mariana" — in which the speaker's description of the landscape surrounding her perfectly conveys her depression and desolation. Part of Tennyson's poetic project, one might point out, involves finding the best way to use the descriptive set-pieces he loved to write. In "The Palace of Art" he creates a segmented poetry whose structure takes the form of stringing together these separate panels, tableaux, or scenes, each of which in this section communicates a mood or emotion. In Memoriam makes a subtler and more varied use of this technique.

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


Victorian Website Overview Alfred Lord Tennyson

Last modified 11 October 2005