Crossing the Bar

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"Crossing the Bar" by Alfred, Lord Tennyson is a poem that expresses a sailor's death. The poem starts with the sailor getting to know that he is going to die very soon by hearing a call from the symbols "sunset and evening star" and "twilight and evening bell" both which represent the onset of the night. The sailor, in the entire poem is actually asking his family and friends not to be heartbroken or to cry when he dies. The phrase "moaning of the bar" refers to the sad sound made by the wind and waves when passing over a sandbar during a stormy weather. The sailor does not want any sadness when he dies, rather wishes for a tide that would be so full that it would not contain any foam or sound, for this reason, it would seem like the ocean is sleeping when all that is being carried from the boundless depths of the sea would return back out to the depths.

Even though the person is sad because he won't get to see his dear friends and family and that he will be far away from the place and time ["for tho' from out our bourne of time and place"] he is still looking ahead for meeting his "pilot" face to face. The poet has used the term "pilot" as a symbol for God. Since he was a sailor, the pilot would have been someone he would take orders from, he looks to God as his "pilot" who instead of ruling the ship, rules and guards his life. He only hopes to see his pilot after he has crossed over to heaven; which is the other side. ["Crossing the Bar"]

One of the main poetic devices that Alfred, Lord Tennyson has used in this poem is rhyme. The rhyme scheme of the individual lines and the stanzas is ‘ABAB' because the first and the third stanza lines are linked to one another as the second and fourth. Also, both the first and third stanzas begin with two symbols referring to the beginning of the night and both of the stanzas follow with the next two lines starting with an "And". Moreover, the last two lines in stanza one and stanza three convey the same message "may...
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