Flower in the crannied wall

by Alfred Tennyson


Original Language English

Flower in the crannied wall,
I pluck you out of the crannies; --
Hold you here, root and all, in my hand,
Little flower -- but if I could understand
What you are, root and all, and all in all,
I should know what God and man is.

-- from Tennyson's Poetry (Norton Critical Editions), by Alfred Tennyson / Edited by Robert W. Hill Jr.

<<Previous Poem | More Poems by Alfred Tennyson | Next Poem >>


/ Photo by David Masters /


View All Poems by Alfred Tennyson

Commentary by Ivan M. Granger

Since Lord Tennyson kept his poem short, I'll keep my commentary short, as well.

Maybe this poem's observation of the flower is a bit sentimental, but that final lines have an alliterative delight, and its depth of insight shouldn't be overlooked--

but if I could understand
What you are, root and all, and all in all,
I should know what God and man is.


Any thing -- any object, any person, any experience -- no matter how mundane or humble, when truly and fully encountered, becomes a doorway to enlightenment.

Have a beautiful day!



Recommended Books: Alfred Tennyson

The Oxford Book of Mystical Verse Tennyson's Poetry (Norton Critical Editions) Alfred Lord Tennyson: Selected Poems (Penguin Classics) Alfred Tennyson: The Major Works (Oxford World's Classics) The Suppressed Poems of Alfred Lord Tennyson
More Books >>





Flower in the