Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Crossing the Bar Explication by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

                Lord Tennyson describes a the approach of death on his life. He starts off the poem saying that death is “one clear call for me” (2). The speaker is ready for death to come and retrieve he or she. The speaker also wants their to be “no moaning of the bar” (3). The speaker is not going to put up any fights to say his or her life. The speaker is ready for this passage of life to come. In the next stanza, Tennyson personifies the tide to show how death can be relaxing when the speaker is ready for it. He says that “But such a tide as moving seems asleep” (5), the tide is so peaceful that it seems as sleep. The tide is a metaphor for life because it brings life and then turns back: “When that which drew from out the boundless deep/ Turns again home” (7-8). The tide brings in life from the “boundless deep” and then “turns again home”. Tennyson describes the passage of life as serene if it is looked at from afar.
                The speaker is ready to approach his or her death and wants “there [to] be no sadness of farewell” (11). The speaker has come to terms with death. He or she does not believe that life should be lived the longest. The speaker wants to approach death with open arms. The speaker then describes life as “our bourne of Time and Place”(13). A bourne is a small flowing stream. Life can be related to this because it is a small flowing part of the huge world. Also, life is a part of Time and Place. Tennyson capitalizes Time and Place here to personify them. By personifying time and place it emphasizes life being part of the whole vibrant, alive world. The speaker wants “the flood [to] ear me far” (16). The flood signifies the whole world of people which can bring a bourne places. The speaker explains that the whole world can bring a person through a wonderful life. Tennyson uses water and personification to explain this. The speaker finishes the poem with “I hope to see my Pilot face to face/ When I have crossed the bar” (15-16). The speaker is ready for death and to see who controls life. The speaker cares about the big picture of life and the whole flood rather than just one life which is the stream. 

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