The Sea

Topics: Poetry, Rhyme, Alliteration Pages: 3 (831 words) Published: March 30, 2014
THE SEA by James Reeves
The main idea of The Sea by James Reeves is that the sea is similar to a dog in so many ways. They both share similar characteristics and behaviour. In fact, one can look at this poem as one long metaphor, mainly focusing on the similarity between the sea and the dog.

The very first line of the first stanza spells out the metaphor quite clearly: “The sea is a hungry dog”.
Moreover, the rest of the poem reinforces this idea by frequently referring to a dog’s physionomy: teeth, jaws, gnaws, bones, paws, sounds (howls, snores, licking, moans), and movement (rolls, bounds to his feet, shaking his wet sides). In the first stanza, the angry sea is described as a hungry dog who is gnawing at a bone. In fact, in this poem the sea is continuously described in terms of dog imagery: “clashing teeth and shaggy jaws”, “he gnaws”, “bones”, “licking his greasy paws”.

In the second stanza, Reeves compares the rough and stormy sea at night to an uncontrollable wet dog who “shakes his wet sides”. The waves crashing into the cliffs also bring to mind an image of a dog in a tub of water: When the dog moves, there are waves, and they crash upon the walls and tub, causing little droplets to fall back down into the tub. In the sea the waves, similarly, crash on the cliffs. The main twist in this poem takes place in the third stanza for the wild sea calms down as the seasons progress. In this stanza, the quiet, serene sea of Spring and Summer becomes a quiet sleepy dog with “his head between his paws / who lies on the sandy shores, / So quiet, so quiet, he scarcely snores”. The last stanza also draws attention to the fact about how serene the surroundings can be when the dog is asleep.

Analysis of The Sea by James Reeves
1. This poem captures the different moods of nature and its extremes. Nature can be both beautiful and attractive, and terrible and dangerous. This is clearly seen in the depictions of both sea and dog:...
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