Analysis of "The Sea"by James Reeves

Good Essays
Topics: Poetry, Stanza
Poetry – The Sea

The poem “The Sea,” by James Reeves, presents to the reader a whole new different and imaginative view of the sea. You would expect that the sea and a dog are two completely unrelated things in this world, but whilst reading this intelligently thought out poem, you come to realise that they are in fact very alike and share many similarities. The effective use of onomatopoeia, metaphors, personification and assonance woven together by the poet shows you that the world is a peculiar place and that two unrelated things can be very much alike. Reeves also makes the reader agree that poetry gives us a special, imaginative view of the world around us.

The message that the poem “The Sea” is trying to send to the reader is basically how much the sea and the dog resemble each other. They have identical traits and behaviour. Connections between these two can be made in so many different ways it’s uncanny. This poem is pretty much one long metaphor and in the first line of the poem, ‘The sea is a hungry dog’ using the metaphor technique Reeves begins to create an image on how similar the sea and dog are. He then develops this image by quickly establishing the connection between the sea and the characteristics of a dog. As the poem continues we see the constant use of canine imagery; “clashing teeth and shaggy jaws’, ‘he gnaws’, ‘bones’, ‘licking his greasy paws.” Furthering this concept, he establishes the vivacious nature of the sea. “Giant and grey. He rolls on the beach all day”. Reeves comments upon the nature of the water on the seaside, and how it is indeed very playful, composing an image in the mind of the waves gently rolling on the beach. The way Reeves writes about the waves implies the mutual characteristics and behaviour of a dog.

As the poem progresses the poet then develops this imagery by describing what the dog’s actions are and also introduces rhyme into the poem “ The rumbling, tumbling stones” Reeves uses a sense of rhythm to

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