Comparing Poems

Topics: Poetry, William Cullen Bryant, Word Pages: 2 (758 words) Published: April 15, 2012
In the poem, “The Tide Rises, the Tide Falls” written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and the poem “Thanatopsis” written by William Cullen Bryant, two different ways in which one may view may view death is established. In “The Tide Rises the Tide Falls” Longfellow’s diction, imagery and figurative language help to create a tone of eeriness. While in Bryant’s poem “Thanatopsis” he creates a more peaceful/calming tone.

In Longfellow’s poem his use of imagery such as “The sea in the darkness” and “the twilight darkens” help give the reader a feel of being at the sea at the darkest time of the day which helps to create that eerie tone. Longfellow also uses a description of sounds saying “the curlew calls” also help him to create his tone of eeriness. On the other hand Bryant’s use of imagery such as his phrases “The golden sun and “the meadows green” give the reader a sense of being out in nature with a bright shining sun in a quiet calming place which helps to support the peaceful/calming tone. He also goes on to say “Yet not to thine eternal resting-place shalt thou retire alone... Though shalt lie down with patriarchs if the infant world, --with kings…” Giving one the image of once they die being placed in the ground, and they will not just lie in the ground and rot, they will be placed in the ground not alone but with kings, and “The powerful of the earth”.

Longfellow uses phrases such as “The day returns but nevermore, returns the traveler to the shore” to set his eerie tone. That phrase makes the reader think about what may have happened to the traveler who was there at the shore the day before, then went into town & never returned. Where as in Bryant’s poem words and phrases such as “mellow” and “he speaks a various language for his gayer hours” not only help establish his peaceful tone they also allow the reader to think of something that Is free of tension and the phrase “he speaks a various language; for his gayer hours” makes the reader think of a...
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