July 29, 2010

Digital Paintings

Fish at Newport AquariumThe Digital Painting collection has been updated with 10 new images. All images are available in 1024 and 2028 pixel widths/lengths.

These are the larger, original versions of some of the paintings uploaded to Beautifil Images 2010 on The Other Pages on Facebook.

This batch includes a Fish, a Dog (Buzz Lightyear,  who succeeded Woody, who succeeded Armstrong of "Alex and Army" fame, Flowers, Fireworkds, and Faraway Places. Thanks to Eric Way for the faraway places - three continents worth.

Follow the link to browse the 10 new images, or the other 70 paintings in the collection: http://theotherpages.org/paintings/index08.html08.html


July 24, 2010

The Short Story Artist

Joyce Carol OatesYou may know that the most famous writer of short stories in American literature was a gentleman named O Henry, who wrote great volumes of stories and poems while living in a microscopic stone house in the midst of what is now a parking lot in San Antonio, Texas. We'll save O Henry for another time. Today's article is on Joyce Carol Oates -- a very recognizable and very prolific figure in American literature. She is an author, poet, teacher, editor and publisher, a runner a diarist, and an essayist.

Over the last forty-seven years she has written fifty novels, dozens of plays, numerous books of poetry, and many, many short stories. She has won numerous writing awards, been nominated twice for a pulitzer, and for the last few years has taught creative writing at Princeton University. She is know for creating complex characters, and criticized somewhat for her tendency to steer into themes of sex and violence.

I must admit, that for the most part, I am not fond of her poetry. On the other hand, I have always been a fan of her short story writing. Oates is a master of developing characters, atmosphere, and the arc of a story in a dozen pages without ever seeming rushed. I also like the varied viewpoints she uses for narration.

Below are a collection of first lines from her books and short stories that will be added to Quotation collection #26, Good Starts: http://theotherpages.org/quote-26.html Here, too, she demonstrates a wide range of voices.

By the way, The O Henry Awards are given every year for the best short stories published in the U.S. Joyce Carol Oates won the award in 1967, and has remained a regular contender for decades.


Innocently it began.
Joyce Carol Oates, A Fair Maiden, 2010

The yearning in my heart!
Joyce Carol Oates, Little Bird of Heaven, 2009

One afternoon in September 1919 a young woman factory worker was walking home on the towpath of the Erie barge Canal, east of the small city of Chautauqua Falls, when she began to notice that she was being followed, at a distance of about thirty feet, by a man in a panama hat.
Joyce Carol Oates, The Grave Digger's Daughter, 2007

Ohhh God.
Joyce Carol Oates, Black Girl/White Girl, 2006

At the time unknown, unnamed, the individual who was to throw himself into the Horseshoe Falls appeared to be the gatekeeper of the Goat Island Suspension Bridge at approximately 6:15 A.M.
Joyce Carol Oates, The Falls, 2004

He had known it must happen soon.
Joyce Carol Oates, The Tattooed Girl, 2003

Where she'd died wasn't where she would be found.
Joyce Carol Oates, The Barrens, 2001

How death enters your life.
Joyce Carol Oates, Middle Age: A Romance, 2001

This movie I've been seeing all my life, yet never to its completion.
Joyce Carol Oates, Blonde, 2000

There was a time in the village of Willowsville, New York, population 5,640, eleven miles east of Buffalo, when every girl between the ages of twelve and twenty (and many unacknowledged others besides) was in love with John Reddy Heart.
Joyce Carol Oates, Broke Heart Blues, 1999

We were the Mulvaneys, remember us?
Joyce Carol Oates, We were the Mulvaneys, 1996

God erupted in thunder and shattering glass.
Joyce Carol oates, What I Lived For, 1994

The rented Toyota, driven with such impatient exuberance by The Senator, was speeding along the unpaved unnamed road, taking the turns in giddy, skidding slides, and then, with no warning, somehow the car had gone off the road and had overturned in black rushing water, listing to its passenger's side, rapidly sinking.
Joyce Carol Oates, Black Water, 1992

She wanted very much to know why, yet she dreaded knowing why, her son, newly home after four months away, was avoiding her.
Joyce Carol Oates, Goose-Girl, 1991

The other day, it was a sunswept windy
March morning, I saw my grandmother staring at me, those deep-socketed eyes, that translucent skin, a youngish woman with very dark hair as I hadn't quite remembered her who had died while I was in college, years ago, in 1966.
Joyce Carol Oates, Why Don't You Come Live With
Me It's Time, 1991

In the unmarked government sedan with the olive-tinted windows, en route to the consul-general's residence in a leafier, less traffice- and bicycle-clogged part of the city, the cultural attache's wife leaned forward to tell
Caroline Carmichael, in a lowered voice, "You won't mention this to anyone tonight, of course, Miss Carmichael--but Mr. Price has been under a good deal of pressure lately."
Joyce Carol Oates, American, Abroad, 1991

"Little Red" Garlock, sixteen years old, skull smashed soft as a rotten pumpkin and body dumped into the Cassadaga River near the foot of Pitt Street, must not have sunk as he'd been intended to sink, or floated as far.
Joyce Carol Oates, Because It Is Bitter, and Becaue It Is My Heart, 1990

There are stories that go unaccountably wrong and become impermeable to the imagination.
The Swimmers, Joyce Carol Oates, 1989

How subtly the season of mourning shaded into a season of envy.
Joyce Carolo Oates, House Hunting, 1988

Not once upon a time, but a few years ago.
Joyce Carol Oates, You Must Remember This, 1987

It was a mild, fragrant evening in late September, several weeks after he had moved to Glenkill, Pennsylvania, to begin teaching at the Glenkill Academy for Boys, that Monica Jensen was introduced to Sheila Trask at a crowded reception in the head-master's residence.
Joyce Carol Oates, Solstice, 1985

They are sitting at opposite ends of the old horsehair sofa waiting for something to happen.
Joyce Carol Oates, The Assignation: A Book of Hours, 1975

Jesse wakes, startled.
Joyce Carol Oates, Wonderland, 1971

One warm evening in August 1969 a girl in love stood before a mirror.
Joyce Carol Oates, Them, 1969

I was a child murderer.
Joyce Carol Oates, Expensive People, 1968

On that day many years ago a rattling Ford truck carrying twenty-nine farmworkers and their children sideswiped a local truck carrying hogs to Little Rock on a rain-slick country highway.
A Garden of Earthly Delights, 1967


June 01, 2010

Remembering the Captain

Jacques Cousteau in his trademark red hatJune 11th marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Jacques-Yves Cousteau, one of the greatest explorers the world has ever known. Cousteau was a French naval officer who excelled at diving. After World War II, he turned his passion into a career, then turned his career into a cause. Eventually he became a touchstone for our awareness of the world around us. Cousteau gave us his first-person observations of "beauty and fragility" of the undersea world, and of the living world as a whole. The Cousteau Society, with several hundred thousand members, lives on in his name, promoting the need to address environmental issues and act as responsible stewards of underwater ecosystems.

Cousteau was a man of many talents, and had a persistent drive to invent, explore, and communicate what he learned. He was a man of many labels - explorer, diver, researcher, inventor, author, film maker, photographer, ship's captain, and narrator among others. It is his nuanced monologues delivered in a steady, understated voice I remember best, his softly French-accented English voiced over images of coral reefs, whale sharks, diving iguanas and undersea caves. Foremost among his inventions was perfection of the “aqua lung” - the open-loop SCUBA gear that enabled him and the crew of his research vessel, the Calypso, unprecedented access to the undersea landscape and its inhabitants. His work with Harold Edgerton of MIT led to the development of underwater flash photography, and of color adjusted films that revealed the true colors of undersea life.

The timing of this 100th anniversary is not without its irony. Cousteau observed and documented half a century of decline in once robust undersea populations from overfishing and the damaging impact of widespread pollution, and of man-made changes in rivers and estuaries and their bird, fish, and mammal populations. I can only imagine his sadness at the scale of the environmental disaster that continues to evolve in the Gulf of
Mexico, as toxic crude petroleum, methane, and other contaminants spew into the sea from a ruptured oil well, five thousand feet (1500 m) beneath the surface.

On a brighter note, to celebrate the anniversary, you can exploreThe Cousteau Society web site at http://www.cousteau.org/ , find Jacques Cousteau Island on Google Maps, or listen to John Denver's song tribute, "Calypso". You could also read one of Cousteau's 50 books, or try to find one of his dozen movies or over 100 television documentaries. There is also, I must admit, an interesting parody of Cousteau and the Calypso crew, with Bill Murray playing a sort of anti-Cousteau in "The Life Aquatic".

Also due out this month is a biography of Cousteau written by his oldest son, Jean-Michel Cousteau. "My Father, the Captain: My Life With Jacques Cousteau".

Below are some quotes from JYC, and one from the opening of Jean-Michel's new book, and from some of the Cousteau books on my bookshelves.

I have always found it curious that my father's family had almost nothing to do with the sea. It is as though he came to it on his own, like a calling, without the benefit of familiarity, proximity, or custom.
--Jean-Michel Cousteau

From birth, man carries the weight of gravity on his shoulders. He is bolted to earth. But man has only to sink beneath the surface and he is free.
--Jacques-Yves Cousteau, in Time Magazine,
March 1960

The sea is the universal sewer.
--Jacques-Yves Cousteau, to the US House Committee on Science and Astronautics, January 1971

If we go on the way we have, the fault is our greed — if we are not willing — we will disappear from the face of the globe, to be replaced by the insect.
--Jacques-Yves Cousteau,, Interview, July 1971

It is at night, above all, that we feel we are uncovering the secrets of a world that is unknown, mysterious, and without defense against us.
--Jacques-Yves Cousteau, from Life and Death in a Coral Sea, 1971

It means nothing to strike up a friendship with a sea lion or dolphin if, at the same time, we are destroying their last refuges along our coasts and our islands. It is an exercise in vanity and absurdity to try to communicate with a killer whale and then to put it on exhibition in an aquatic zoo as a circus freak.
--Jacques-Yves Cousteau, Diving Companions, 1971

The world of living beings is a _whole_. As a whole, it is indispensable to the ecological balance of the planet and to the psychological equilibrium of man. Any real solution to the problem of the environment must therefore be a global solution, effective simultaneously at the scientific, technological, legislative, political and international levels. If we pretend otherwise, we are not being honest with ourselves or with those who will come after us.
--Jacques-Yves Cousteau, Diving Companions, 1971

The happiness of the bee and the dolphin is to exist. For man it is to know that and to wonder at it.
--Jacques-Yves Cousteau

In nature, experiments are constantly carried out, producing a never ending array of strange, bizarre, and sometimes grotesque creatures. As odd as some creatures may seem to us, their features usually represent special capabilities that have enabled them to survive.
--Jacques-Yves Cousteau, The Ocean World, 1979

Man as a species has progressed to this point only because of his ability to keep written records. The wheel does not have to be reinvented every few generations, A young scientist can pick up where his predecessors left off.
--Jacques-Yves Cousteau, The Ocean World, 1979

The sea, once it casts its spell, holds on in its net of wonder forever .
--Jacques-Yves Cousteau


May 31, 2010

What they're still carrying

In honor of Memorial Day in the U.S., PBS Newshour broadcast an interview with Tim O’Brian, author of The Things they Carried. This year marks the 20th anniversary of a book which has become required reading in the U.S. in classes at both the high school and college level. I have quoted the book before, so on this occasion I would like to quote a few of O’Brian’s comments from the interview.

The entire interview can be read or seen at



“The things we carry, the objects we carry say things about the sorts of people we are. The book does start with the physical stuff we carry through a war, not just the military stuff, but the rabbit's feet and the pictures of your girlfriend back home, and all you don't have. And then the book tries to move into the emotional and the spiritual burdens that you're going to carry, not just through the war, but to your grave.”

“I wanted to write a work of fiction that would feel to the reader as if this had occurred or, in a way, is occurring as I read it. And, so, I would use every strategy I could think of, invention, and dialogue, and using my own name, dedicating the book to the characters, as a way of giving a reader a sense of witnessed experience. I was a soldier in Vietnam. But the stories in the book are, for the most part, invented. Yet, they're launched out of a world I once knew.”

“Sometimes things like wars can do precisely the reverse of what you want with a policy. You can manufacture enemies, as I was telling the class, that a bullet can kill the enemy, but a bullet can also produce an enemy, depending on whom that bullet strikes.”


March 08, 2010

Locksley Hall, Part 2


This is a continuation of an earlier article on two poems by Alfred Tennyson, Locksley Hall, and Locksley Hall - Sixty Years After. These are both fairly long poems, so consider my comments here more of a plot summary than an analysis.

http://theotherpages.org/poems/tenny02.html   Locksley Hall

http://theotherpages.org/poems/tenny41.html   Sixty Years After

The second poem takes place six decades later for the un-named hero (and about 45 years for Tennyson). Much has changed about the world, and about the narrator himself.

Some things stay the same. The bitter young man has turned into a bitter old man. Very bitter. Nothing in the present-day world brings pleasure to his eye, especially his grandson, who seems to be the object of much derision on the narrator's part. The grandson seems to be about the same age in this poem as the narrator was when he decided to leave home in the last poem. Or did he leave home? Perhaps he did, but something drew him back. 

We learn that his beloved Amy, object of such anger at her betrayal in the first poem died in childbirth within a year of his leaving. He has nothing but fond memories of her now. We also hear that the man she married was not such a rat after all. In fact, in the end he praises the man:

Strove for sixty widow'd years to help his homelier brother men,
Served the poor, and built the cottage, raised the school, and drain'd the fen.

Hears he now the Voice that wrong'd him? who shall swear it cannot be?
Earth would never touch her worst, were one in fifty such as he.

We also learn of someone else, not mentioned in the first poem - Edith - met by chance when they were children - on the same day he met, and behaved rudely towards - the boy who would grow up to be Lord of Locksley Hall and Amy's future husband:

From that casement where the trailer mantles all the mouldering bricks--
I was then in early boyhood, Edith but a child of six--

While I shelter'd in this archway from a day of driving showers--
Peept the winsome face of Edith like a flower among the flowers.

And we learn that Edith, not Amy was his true soul-mate in life,

She with all the charm of woman, she with all the breadth of man,

Strong in will and rich in wisdom, Edith, loyal, lowly, sweet,
Feminine to her inmost heart, and feminine to her tender feet,

Very woman of very woman, nurse of ailing body and mind,
She that link'd again the broken chain that bound me to my kind.

So with his added sixty years of wisdom, many years of married happiness, and making peace with his memories of Amy and the man she married, why is he still so bitter?  He himself admits,

Gone the fires of youth, the follies, furies, curses, passionate tears,
Gone like fires and floods and earthquakes of the planet's dawning years.

Fires that shook me once, but now to silent ashes fall'n away.
Cold upon the dead volcano sleeps the gleam of dying day.

The answer is two-fold. Part one of the answer is almost an Ubi Sunt sentiment (where have they gone, the great ones), except that he knows the answer - he has outlived his comrades, his loves, and his enemies. the word 'Gone' continues as a constant refrain:

Gone the tyrant of my youth, and mute below the chancel stones,
Gone the comrades of my bivouac, some in fight against the foe,
Gone with whom for forty years my life in golden sequence ran,
Gone our sailor son thy father, Leonard early lost at sea;
Gone thy tender-natured mother, wearying to be left alone,
Pining for the stronger heart that once had beat beside her own.

From this we also learn that he outlived his only child, his son Leonard, who died a hero, long ago, a loss that weighs heavily upon him:

Beautiful was death in him who saw the death but kept the deck,
Saving women and their babes, and sinking with the sinking wreck,

In fact he has outlived the world he knew - everything and everyone in it. All that is left to him is his grandson -

Thou alone, my boy, of Amy's kin and mine art left to me.

This is an impossible burden for anyone - to make up for the loss of an entire world -  the bar for his affections has been set too high - he can only disappoint. Even the thing that should bring them together - that the grandson is spurned by the woman he asks to be his wife - becomes the source for more derision:

So--your happy suit was blasted--she the faultless, the divine;
And you liken--boyish babble--this boy-love of yours with mine.

Part two of the answer, the reason for his bitterness, is that one of his repeated refrains from the first poem, 'Forward' now haunts him - change, the march of progress, his visions of the future:

Gone the cry of 'Forward, Forward,' lost within a growing gloom;
Lost, or only heard in silence from the silence of a tomb.

Half the marvels of my morning, triumphs over time and space,
Staled by frequence, shrunk by usage into commonest commonplace!

'Forward' rang the voices then, and of the many mine was one.
Let us hush this cry of 'Forward' till ten thousand years have gone.

The narrator goes into a ranting monologue of over 200 lines, decrying the devolution of everything - religion, politics,  animal cruelty, class equality, foreign policy, the aristocracy's arrogant ignorance, and of course those who prey upon, and nurture that ignorance:

You that woo the Voices--tell them 'old experience is a fool,'
Teach your flatter'd kings that only those who cannot read can rule.
Here and there a cotter's babe is royal-born by right divine;
Here and there my lord is lower than his oxen or his swine.

Rising industrialization, and the changes it has brought about in society are also a source of his bitterness. He that called for progress now observes exploitation and devolution wherever he looks:

Is it well that while we range with Science, glorying in the Time,
City children soak and blacken soul and sense in city slime?

There among the glooming alleys Progress halts on palsied feet,
Crime and hunger cast our maidens by the thousand on the street.

There the Master scrimps his haggard sempstress of her daily bread,
There a single sordid attic holds the living and the dead.

There the smouldering fire of fever creeps across the rotted floor,
And the crowded couch of incest in the warrens of the poor.

Perhaps Bob or Howard could say for certain, but I would wager this is the most scathing piece ever written by a Poet Laureate during his tenure.

There are some lines again, in this poem, that do not play well to modern ears. Some lines of ignorance and prejudice that I don't think have parallels in Tennyson's other works and really do not add anything constructive to the metaphors for time and eternity that eventually segue into his bitter rant. 

The poem is a re-visitation, some might say a revisionist view of the original story, and while it answers many questions it also introduces some contradictions. The meter, which works so well for the first poem seems more  forced here. And ultimately, it is a sad poem.  The bitterness is mixed with loss and regret, and always there is the realization that the narrator's time on earth (and the poet's time as well) is growing short.

This poem does bring the story full-circle. In the end we learn that the occasion for their rendezvous at Locksley hall is the death of Amy's husband, whose funeral they will attend tomorrow, and that the narrator's grandson, the last surviving member of the family, will himself become Lord of the manor - a surprise and very ironic ending to such a long piece:

Forward, let the stormy moment fly and mingle with the Past.
I that loathed, have come to love him. Love will conquer at the last.

Gone at eighty, mine own age, and I and you will bear the pall;
Then I leave thee Lord and Master, latest Lord of Locksley Hall.

March 03, 2010

Locksley Hall, Part 1.

Why do people run off to join the Army? Navy? Read Soldier of Fortune? Become a "security contractor?"

For Love, of course – lost love in particular if we are to believe Alfred Tennyson’s sometimes brilliant, sometimes arrogant, sometimes ranting poem, Locksley Hall. No relation here to Robin of Locksley, by the way, except as a very distant layer of metaphor.


At eighty-three years, Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s life spanned most of the 19th century – as did his career as a poet. An amazingly long forty-two of those years were spent as England’s Poet Laureate. By the way - Queen Elizabeth II appointed a new Poet laureate in May of 2009 - Carol Ann Duffy – who just happens to be the first woman to hold the post in its 341-year history.

Many things are notable about Tennyson’s body of work – it has considerable breadth and depth – from simple but striking portraits to epic works, to a memorial poem 17 years in the making. Many of his pieces became very widely known – and many of his catch phrases made their way into common usage in the English Language. He has a wide ranging voice. The same man who wrote the almost shouting lines of The Charge of the Light Brigade could also write the hauntingly simple interludes of The Princess, or these elegant lines of acceptance in Crossing the Bar:

SUNSET and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,

But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound or foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell;
When I embark;

For tho' from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my pilot face to face
When I have crossed the bar.

But the subject for today is not Mariana, or Maud, Idyls of the King or Enoch Arden. It is a pair of complex, admittedly flawed, but powerful (and yes, long) poems: Locksley Hall and Locksley Hall – Sixty Years After. They express the views of a young soldier at around age 20, and again as an old man, six decades later. These two pieces make for a striking interplay on both a very personal, very human scale, and on a grand stage spanning vast stretches of space and time. Both poems are first person narratives – the first one a soliloquy, and the second one ostensibly to the narrator’s grandson, whose life has some parallels to the narrator’s own.

While there are some beautifully crafted lines in both pieces, there are also many raw emotions, blatant prejudices and some rambling political and social discourses. Tennyson's narrator is a very imperfect hero. Whether these detours in the narrative are the protagonist staying in character, or Tennyson's own thoughts is a valid debate. Any character is a vehicle, and if you write the character truthfully, some of you is in them (Lloyd Alexander's view) or some part of of them becomes part of you (Ariadne's view).

The time span for these pieces, like Tennyson’s own life, covers most of the 19th century. The setting for the first poem - which escaped me the first time I read it - is probably near the time it was written - roughly the early 1840's. We’ll take a look at the first poem today, and revisit the second one, appropriately, at a later date.

The narrator is an unnamed soldier, a mercenary for hire, who stops with his fellow soldiers by a seaside castle, and muses over this place where he spent his childhood. We will learn, further on in the poem, that he was born somewhere in Asia and orphaned at a young age when his father dies fighting in Mahratta (India), around 1818 by my guess. Like a Walt Disney story, he becomes the ward of a man he views as a cruel and selfish uncle, the Lord of Locksley Hall.

Yet he is a dreamer, as some of the poem's early lines indicate, and he falls in love with his childhood playmate Amy as he grows to manhood. The 'good times', such as they are, are sweet, but so brief that you might miss them. Before you can blink, his beloved Amy betrays him and weds another man - the future lord of the manner, in a very un-Disney-like turn of events, choosing wealth and security over love.

The spurned lover, in his bitterness he imagines a spitefully unhappy life for his former beloved, and predicts that her husband will treat her “Something better than his dog, a little dearer than his horse.” He belabors his wishes for her unhappiness for almost sixty lines of verse, finally envisioning a future day when:

O, I see thee old and formal, fitted to thy petty part,
With a little hoard of maxims preaching down a daughter's heart.

When he is done wishing her an unhappy, painfully regretful life, the poem turns to the question of what he should do with his own:

I have but an angry fancy; what is that which I should do?

And he eventually decides that

...the jingling of the guinea helps the hurt that Honour feels

And goes off to become a soldier for hire. Not quite a standard story line: Orphan finds girl; Orphan loses girl; Orphan leaves home; Orphan becomes a mercenary like dear old dimly-remembered dad.

But the love story (or perhaps this one is a hate story) is only part of the content here - one of the most striking things is Tennyson's description of his protagonist's vision of the future. Mind you, this is Tennyson writing in 1835, long before the automobile, imagining that man would have a way of flying around from place to place:

For I dipt into the future, far as human eye could see,
Saw the Vision of the world, and all the wonder that would be;
Saw the heavens fill with commerce, argosies of magic sails,
Pilots of the purple twilight dropping down with costly bales;

The narrator understands that anything good is eventually co-opted for other purposes, and here foreshadows events that would come to pass eight decades later during the trench warfare of The Great War - the use of poison gas and aerial dogfights:

Heard the heavens fill with shouting, and there rain'd a ghastly dew
From the nations' airy navies grappling in the central blue;
Far along the world-wide whisper of the south-wind rushing warm,
With the standards of the peoples plunging thro' the thunder-storm;

And even imagines a resolution – one that would not come about for over a century (and that many would argue is still a long way off):

Till the war-drum throbb'd no longer, and the battle-flags were furl'd
In the Parliament of man, the Federation of the world.
There the common sense of most shall hold a fretful realm in awe,
And the kindly earth shall slumber, lapped in universal law.

From this crystal gazing into the future, he settles down, realizing that unfettered anger and jealousy will scar him for life:

So I triumph'd ere my passion sweeping thro' me left me dry,
Left me with the palsied heart, and left me with the jaundiced eye;

But this is a lie. Tennyson's hero still hasn't exorcised his demons. and goes off on another rant, one jaded and prejudiced by the English view of the world of 175 years ago. He says he will go find some tropical Paradise where "never floats an European flag":

Summer isles of Eden lying in dark-purple spheres of sea.

And there he will finally be free of all that torments him:

There the passions cramp'd no longer shall have scope and breathing space;
I will take some savage woman, she shall rear my dusky race.
Iron-jointed, supple-sinew'd, they shall dive, and they shall run,
Catch the wild goat by the hair, and hurl their lances in the sun;
Whistle back the parrot's call, and leap the rainbows of the brooks,
Not with blinded eyesight poring over miserable books--
Things run downhill from here, unfortunately. He still views himself as a member of the entitled, landed class, though landless he is at the moment. His short flight of fancy gives way to deeper prejudice and arrogance, and what was paradise only a moment ago now becomes demeaning. The care-free inhabitants of Eden are now barbarians with "narrow foreheads" and his would-be wife now just a "squalid savage" while he sees himself as the peak of learning and human development "the heir of all the ages"

As the poem draws to a close, instead of hiding from the world around him, he becomes impatient for his visions to come true,

Not in vain the distance beacons. Forward, forward let us range,
Let the great world spin for ever down the ringing grooves of change.

The poem ends with his farewell, and with approaching storm clouds on the horizon as his metaphor for the future, wishing the winds could sweep Locksley hall together with his unhappiness into the sea:

Comes a vapour from the margin, blackening over heath and holt,
Cramming all the blast before it, in its breast a thunderbolt.
Let it fall on Locksley Hall, with rain or hail, or fire or snow;
For the mighty wind arises, roaring seaward, and I go.

This is a long poem and I've skipped over most of the better known lines and most of the underlying metaphors. If you have the time, read it aloud. Tennyson's choice of meter creates a rhythm that reinforces the strength of the narrator's passions. It looks long, but it makes easy reading.

Where this poem focuses on a young man's spurned affections, Locksley Hall – Sixty Years After shifts the focus to an old man's bitter regrets, and the rants against Amy's betrayal become rants against the changes he has seen in the world since his last visit.

More when we make our own return visit to Locksley Hall.