Charles Petzold

Tennyson on Windows Programming

September 19, 2005
New York City

The poet laureate of Victorian England (from 1850 until his death in 1892) may be assumed to have written little about Windows programming. Yet, consider the following excerpts from Tennyson's poem Morte d'Arthur, first published in 1842 and later expanded and incorporated into the epic Idylls of the King in 1870. This famous passage occurs towards the end of King Arthur's deathbed speech:

In that passage, we can interpret "God" as a reference to Microsoft, which has fulfilled itself with various "customs" of Windows programming (Win32 API, MFC, WinForms, etc).

A dozen lines later the speech concludes with a blunt confirmation of this interpretation, albeit with an alternate spelling of "Avalon":

The "grievous wound" is particularly poignant, although I'm not sure whether he's referring to the scars caused by exposure to Win32 or COM.