Crossing at the Bar Meaning

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Crossing at the bar meaning by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Tennyson mentions in the first stanza that he is waiting for his death to be called (“and one clear call for me”) in the first and second stanza he also mentions a tidal wave to return him home. When Tennyson mentions 'home' he is referring to heaven. And describes in the third stanza of his twilight while trying to give the impression that he is waiting for the journey of the afterlife, but expects there to be no sadness when he dies, and wishes to confront his death with bravery. Lord Tennyson’s poem is a religious and clean death, no wildness or crazy ways he simply wants a peaceful death. And only wants to die seeing his lord face to face. ANALYSIS

This poem describes the attitude of acceptance of the speaker towards death. Now, we will analyze this poem; in the first stanza the author hears that he is being called, it seems a call from death (line 2) “and one clear call for me”, also he is expecting a rising tide that he goes home again. In the third stanza, the author describes his twilight while he is waiting for his death and he hopes no sadness when he dies. In the last stanza, the speaker trusts in confronting the death with bravery, and also he emphasizes this giving a feeling of excitement and curiosity for that which is coming (line 15 & 16) “ I hope to see my Pilot face to face when I have crossed the bar”. This poem is an allegory of the road towards death, the sand bar is described as a barrier between life and death; the sea is shown as a destination, and it manages to create a very peaceful feeling, the twilight is seen as a decline in a human life, and the dark as death. This metaphorical poem is much more spiritual, because it has a great religious sense, we can see it in this sentence (line 15 & 16) “I hope to see my Pilot face to face when I have crossed the bar”; the Pilot can be his guide towards death, an angel or God. In respect to the structure, the poem is divided in four stanzas which have resemblances, for example: the first stanza begins with: “sunset and evening star” and the third “twilight and evening bell” and both have one line with exclamations (line2) “and one clear call for me!” and (line 10) “and after that the dark” Referring to the rhyme scheme it consists in four quatrain stanzas rhyming ABAB, and the pair lines are shorter than the other ones, and the first and the third stanzas are united to one another as are the second and fourth stanzas. The first and the third stanzas begin with symbols of light "sunset and evening star" and "twilight and evening bell", then , the second line of those stanzas begins with "and"; the third and the fourth stanzas conclude with a wish: (lines3 & 4) and (lines 11 & 12).

In respect to the vocabulary, we will say, that it is very accessible even having lots of metaphors. It is very clear in understanding.

The speaker heralds the setting of the sun and the rise of the evening star, and hears that he is being called. He hopes that the ocean will not make the mournful sound of waves beating against a sand bar when he sets out to sea. Rather, he wishes for a tide that is so full that it cannot contain sound or foam and therefore seems asleep when all that has been carried from the boundless depths of the ocean returns back out to the depths. The speaker announces the close of the day and the evening bell, which will be followed by darkness. He hopes that no one will cry when he departs, because although he may be carried beyond the limits of time and space as we know them, he retains the hope that he will look upon the face of his "Pilot" when he has crossed the sand bar. Form

This poem consists of four quatrain stanzas rhyming ABAB. The first and third lines of each stanza are always a couple of beats longer than the second and fourth lines, although the line lengths vary among the stanzas.

Commentary

Tennyson wrote "Crossing the Bar" in 1889, three years before...
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