Tennyson's power to evoke beauty itself acts as an intoxicant- the hypnotically vivid perceptions of drugged isolates, in the amber light and languid air of some inhuman paradise, as they gaze upon and are consumed by the blue screen of sea and sky-each day the same day in this foreshadowing of our post-modern Neverland...........Sun reflects from gleaming armour and is captured in a mirror world of images-the hermetically sealed consciousness trapped in a life of shadows.............In a cold marble palace infinitely aged immortality, yearning for death, broods on universal process..........The hard, heroic will, that once fought “far on the ringing plains of windy Troy”, now, in the face of the infinitely open sea, contemplates the ultimate experience of oblivion.........
Tennyson is one of the most sheerly talented of poets and is second only to Milton and Virgil in his command of verbal music. If at times he lapses into somnambulism, ingrown convolutions and bad patriotic verse no one today would casually remark upon his “stupidity”or describe his verse as thoughtless melody.
Beneath the long persistent note of melancholy, the extremes of subjectivity, sloughs of abysmal meaninglessness, anxious vertigos and trance-like states, there is a region of dread and doubt . Deep, buried emotion, like the Kraken, threatens to burst the dark, dissembling surface.
This torrent consists of two versions of “Enoch Arden”. The first, with Andrew Sachs as narrator, was broadcast on ABC FM some ten years ago. The second, with Erik Rhodes, is of a vinyl recording made in 1950 which was recently uploaded in FLAC format at demonoid.com. I have simply converted this to mp3 for convenience. Both versions use the piano accompaniment written by the young Richard Strauss.
The poem tells the story of a castaway who returns home to very changed circumstances. Set in the eighteenth century it reflects a nineteenth century ascetic ethos and the popular melodrama of the time.
Download the Sachs version as either FLAC or mp3 as you prefer.
NOTE-Tennyson 1 was uploaded on Feb. 05 (Penguin “Selected Poems”-Derek Jacobi), and Tennyson 2 on March 01 (Lancelot and Elaine-Caedmon).