Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Crossing The Bar by Lord Alfred Tennyson 1809-1892, such a poem can be considered an elegy. It was note that Tennyson asked his son to always add this poem to the end of his anthologies. As a sign of closure to his life on earth and to his world of poetic living. A four stanza poem with four lines each stanza. The poem holds a simple diction flowed with metaphors and symbolisms; it has a rhyme pattern of ABAB CDCD, etc.

The poem speaks of the poet's readiness to embark on an e

vening journey of no return; through the sea, when the sunset, the evening star, the twilight and evening bell are present. He urged the people not to give him a mournful farewell since his journey would be deep and far. He ended the poem with wish or hope to see his pilot face to face.

The theme of old age and death which is followed by sorrow. Alfred Tennyson compared his death to sailing the sea; "When I put out to sea" (in line 4) and out of experience, he knew the kind of sadness that follows death so he warned them not sorrow when he's gone. "And may there be no moaning of the bar/When I put out to sea" (in line 3-4) and "And may there be no sadness of farewell/When I embark"

The theme of human mortality. In this poem, Lord Alfred Tennyson, shows human's susceptibility to death in spite of the effort, every Genesis must have Revelation; described in the poem stanza 2:
"But such a tide as moving seems asleep
Too full for sound and foam
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turn again home"

There are symbolism, metaphor, simile, repetition, alliteration, etc. In the poem, bar symbolizes grave, pilot symbolizes God, sunset and twilight and evening bell and evening star all symbolize old age. "drew from out the boundless deep" is a clause that symbolizes the womb.

Imageries exist in the poem and some are of sight while some hearing. The following are few of the imageries: "And clear call for me" in line 2, "no moaning of the bar" in line 3, "out the boundless deep" in line 7, "And after that the dark!" in 10.

Metaphors are "sadness of warefell" in line 11, "out our bourne of Time and Place" in line 13. The biggest part of it is that the poem was woven with metaphor where Tennyson compared his dying to sailing the sea "Too full for sound and foam" (in line 6)

Alliterations as follows: "Sunset and evening star" in line 1. "clear call" in line 2. "flood may bear me far" in line 14, "face to face". Repetitions that can be seen in the poem are "bar" "evening" "When I" "And may there be no..." simile is "such a tide as moving seem asleep" It is noticed that line 7-8 is a paradoxical antithesis.

Lord Alfred Tennyson lived 83years on earth; he was born 1809-1892


Samuel C. Enunwa aka samueldpoetry
(the Leo with wing swinging in sky)


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