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Tide Rises, the Tide Falls, The Analysis



Author: Poetry of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Type: Poetry Views: 2653





The tide rises, the tide falls,

The twilight darkens, the curlew calls;

Along the sea-sands damp and brown

The traveler hastens toward the town,

And the tide rises, the tide falls.

Darkness settles on roofs and walls,

But the sea, the sea in darkness calls;

The little waves, with their soft, white hands

Efface the footprints in the sands,

And the tide rises, the tide falls.

The morning breaks; the steeds in their stalls

Stamp and neigh, as the hostler calls;

The day returns, but nevermore

Returns the traveler to the shore.

And the tide rises, the tide falls.





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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

.: :.

I think it's the life cycle of a human. Birth, life, death. Really interesting. I love Louis Tomlinson, thank you.

| Posted on 2013-10-21 | by a guest


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A poem can mean one thing to the writer and yet the reader can get what he gets out of it, and that's fine. It can have many meanings. If one thinks its stupid to have to analyze it, they are too lazy to think and will go thru life wanting everything handed to them, explained. This page should HELP you understand it, not substitute for you actually thinking and doing your own homework!

| Posted on 2013-09-25 | by a guest


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I\'m intrigued by Longfellow who uses the tide and footprints to represent a juxtaposition of seemingly opposite views in two poems: The Tide Rises, The Tide Falls, and A Psalm of Life. In Tide Rises we see the washing away of evidence that one has lived and passed this way, yet in Psalm of Life, he uses foot prints in the \"sands of time\" that are not washed away but remain to remind us of great men who passed this way. \"Lives of great men all remind us / we can make our lives sublime / and departing leave behind us / footprints in the sands of time....then he tells how these footprints can lift and elevate a \"forlorn\" brother who may have lost his way. It\'s true that we all are just passing through this earth life, and as the generations keep coming, we will pass into obscurity with only the remnants of our having been here being our name on a grave marker, or a family pedigree chart...UNLESS we choose to do something that leaves our mark on the world. Write your book. Paint your pictures. Compose your music. If those arent\' your talents then write your life story. Put it in a book format. Leave a legacy of your life\'s lessons. I did this very thing so I won\'t be forgotten. Mine is STRUMMING ON HEART STRINGS: THROUGH DOORS OF ONE WOMAN\'S JOURNEY. My friends, leave footprints that \"the little waves, with their soft, white hands\" cannont \"Efface the footprints in the sands...\" Even though we\'re here for a brief time, our lives matter. Before the tide\'s soft, white hands begin messing with your footprints, determine your legacy...write your life into the annals of history, even if it\'s just your family history. You may be the salvation of a grandchild or great grandchild. Read A Psalm of Life to feel the impact of what I\'m trying to share with you. Blessings on your journey...

| Posted on 2013-06-14 | by a guest


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This poems deeper meaning seems to be if our life is important. i mean we all live and die but once were dead how many generations will we be remembered we aren\'t Shakespeare and what we do and say wont be remembered forever.

| Posted on 2013-02-27 | by a guest


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This has a wide variety of figurative language used in it. There is repetition used in it also. My telephone number is 7703124392 if anyone would like to chat :)

| Posted on 2012-11-27 | by a guest


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Men are born to die, this is the reality that everyone of us should accept. Our life is like a leaf which will soon wither and forgotten. This poem tells that our journey on Earth is not eternal.

| Posted on 2012-07-14 | by a guest


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The Tide Raises the Tide Falls
I think that this poem is about life- that if a person dies his life just goes away. The footprints in the sand are like the personís goals in life and the oceanís waves erase them just like nothing had happened or occurred. I think that the rise of the tide means when you are born and the tideís fall is when you die.

| Posted on 2012-04-24 | by a guest


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This poem ďThe Tide Rises, the Tide FallsĒ means literally that a man is going to a town far far away, but as he is going to the town he grows older and older and older and he walks past a beach and walks across the beach and he walks and walks and dies. His footprints were left and then the tide comes through and washes away his foot prints. The horse the traveler had was left there waiting until the hostler comes and takes him away, leaving the man left on the shore with nothing. On a deeper level, I think that this poem is about the goals of a person and how he dies before he reaches his goals. When the tide rises and washes away his footprints it means that all his steps in life are over and there is nothing more to do. And when it says that the hostler will take the horse away it means all that you have worked for is gone and you will never see your ambitions fulfilled.

| Posted on 2012-04-24 | by a guest


.: :.

The Tide Raises the Tide Falls
I think that this poem is about life- that if a person dies his life just goes away. The footprints in the sand are like the personís goals in life and the oceanís waves erase them just like nothing had happened or occurred. I think that the rise of the tide means when you are born and the tideís fall is when you

| Posted on 2012-04-24 | by a guest


.: :.

The Tide Raises the Tide Falls
I think that this poem is about life- that if a person dies his life just goes away. The footprints in the sand are like the personís goals in life and the oceanís waves erase them just like nothing had happened or occurred. I think that the rise of the tide means when you are born and the tideís fall is when you

| Posted on 2012-04-24 | by a guest


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I believe that on one level, the poem is literally about a traveler who is riding his horse along the beach on his way to an inn. The traveler\'s footprints are effaced by the tide and he doesn\'t return to the shore again. Wherever the traveler is heading ultimately, he dies before he passes that way again. But on another level, to me the poem expresses the theme that man\'s life is just a drop in the bucket when compared to time. The tide, the ocean, the cycles of life continue on eternally, while man\'s life is here and then gone in an instant.

| Posted on 2012-04-07 | by a guest


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wow. just so you know \"unrises\" is not a word. A better word would be sets. The sun rises the sun sets. Not \"unrises\". Sorry that just bugged me.

| Posted on 2012-03-12 | by a guest


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does any one have the full paraphrasing ???
my exam is tomorrow and i\'m really worried !!!!

| Posted on 2012-01-06 | by a guest


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The analysis of this is really about the cycle of nature and comparing it to the cycle of life. Also no matter what happens in life nature will keep going on. Also in your life as a human your life is constantly changing and different and unpredictable, but nature goes through the same cycle over and over again.. like when the leaves change and fall and grow back the same leaves. the major point in this isnt about the traveler..its about nature and human beings and the harmony between them. Which many romantic poets during the romanticism era wrote about nature and life. But you must look beyond the words for a bigger meaning..its not about a traveller...read it again!

| Posted on 2011-11-20 | by a guest


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I think this is pretty lame and due to the fact that google is very unhelpful in finding a secondary resource for my project on the analysis of this poem I am going to be very bitter about this and i hope someone finds this more helpful than i did.... ;p

| Posted on 2011-11-16 | by a guest


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Thanks for all who post there anlysis about the tide rises, the tide falls. :)

| Posted on 2011-11-15 | by a guest


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I love this poem. We did this analysis in english and I fell in love with it! I believe it\'s about a traveler who comes to the shore for his last day

| Posted on 2011-06-09 | by a guest


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Like what most of you said, the poem is about death and how it\'s a part of a natural cycle. But I don\'t exactly get the \"hostler calls\" part.

| Posted on 2011-02-12 | by a guest


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From what I know Wadsworth was a Romantic period poet which means that he believed in the big picture and how small human influence really is. So, I believe that by this poem he is using the \"tide\" as a metaphor for nature as a whole and by erasing the footprints it is erasing human\'s ugly mark that we have left. The excited horses could also be \"nature\" being ready for the reclaiming of what belongs to it.

| Posted on 2011-02-08 | by a guest


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All he evar does is point out the obvious. I could do that. Sun rises, sun unrises. Days happened, days end. Sand is yellow.

| Posted on 2011-01-25 | by a guest


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The Tide Rises, the Tide Falls .
Longfellow have written this for his possible personal purpose ; what\'s magnificent about this poem is that it may reflect on whomever\'s perspective in life & their own interpetation of one poem in infinite ways. When I first read this poem i thought it was about how people go on in their lives and sooner or later they\'d die and it\'s a cycle for everyone that this happens. That they imprinted themselves on this Earth in the begging but as we move on we fade like footprints on the beach and die. But i as well applaud for others personal analysis on this poem.

| Posted on 2010-12-31 | by a guest


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i feel that wasting my life anylizising an english poem for a teacher i hate is pointless and very unsatisfying,when i could be moving on with my life with such subjects like math or the sciences.

| Posted on 2010-12-19 | by a guest


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mamybe he\'s suggesting the true power of nature. no matter what man does nature will simply erase everthing one has done in his life eventually \"Darkness settles on roofs and walls\"

| Posted on 2010-12-08 | by a guest


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I believe the use of \"steeds\" is a metaphor. Horses are wild, majestic animals, which can represent nature in its glorious and wild form. The \"Stamp and neigh\" are how horses call on the hostler for attention. If the hostler represents man, then it is nature were calling on mankind, urging it to come to it. However, once man dies, they cannot return to the earth and nature. They will return \"nevermore.\"

| Posted on 2010-11-29 | by a guest


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the significance of the poem is that you may die and dissapear but time and nature will continue its way

| Posted on 2010-09-22 | by a guest


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This was written shortly after his second wife passed away. It shows how truly trapped we are by routine and how life does not stop going because something tragic has happened. Life always goes on.

| Posted on 2010-06-17 | by a guest


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when the footprints are effaced.he symbolizes man being effaced from earth. by the power of nature. maybe hes right?

| Posted on 2010-05-21 | by a guest


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Thanks to all of you who posted these analysis! It has really helped me in my homework!XD

| Posted on 2010-04-18 | by a guest


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the vissiccitudes of life.life is transitional.death is inevitable.the goat that do not ask how his father died will die the same way.the tides will continue rising and falling till the end of the world.
Ebonne Uche Victor

| Posted on 2010-03-31 | by a guest


.: :.

From your first to last breathe, God calls to you in many ways. We donít always listen so life goes on. We know we are ĎtravelersĎ to this world. This is why we are drawn to nature, (Which symbolizes heaven) because it is perfect and everlasting, unlike our own lives. We should listen to Godís (the hostler) calls because our time rises and our time falls (the tide rises, the tide falls) I got an A+!

| Posted on 2010-03-29 | by a guest


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I've noticed that the rhyme scheme and stanza arrangement play a part in the way this poem sounds when read aloud: by adding that fifth line to each stanza, he changes the rhyming sound back to "-alls," making the transitions a lot smoother between stanzas, much like those between tides.

| Posted on 2010-02-25 | by Waffaz


.: :.

I've read enough of these analyses, and I think that most people would agree that the poem generally talks about the frailty and short span of human life. That's what I get from it/them, anyway. When I first read the poem, I thought of the traveler's hastening toward the town as an indication of his desire to stay alive, and to not be drowned by the approaching water level. If you were walking down a beach, you wanted to get somewhere else safely, and you saw the tide rising, what would you do?

| Posted on 2010-02-22 | by a guest


.: :.

in each stanza the poem references a call- the curlew's call, the sea in the darkness, and the hostler calling to the horses. It's about nature calling to us, and how we are drawn to nature because it is continuous and everlasting, unlike our own lives. in the last paragraph we meet the hostler who calls to the horses stamping in their stalls. the hostler calls back. the traveler leaves and does not return, he is called a traveler because we are travelers on this earth who do not return. but the sea and the world around us continues on. we must answer the call the way the hostler does before we depart from the earth as a mere 'traveler'.

| Posted on 2010-02-13 | by a guest


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the traveler leaves the tide the tide know he shouldnt stop cause noone there and the travler could posibly could nlot come back to save one tide i got a A+:D

| Posted on 2010-01-17 | by a guest


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I did an analysis of this poem for an essay we had to do. The meaning of this poem is essentially that even though the traveler was there, the world continues to go on. It doesn't matter what one does in life-man comes and goes with little to no effect on the rest of the world, but nature is eternal. Another interpretation is that everything in life comes to an end at some point. Also, the waves could represent the ups and downs of life andthe way that somethings should be forgotten. A third interpretation: to use the phrase, "tomorrow holds no memory for yesterday's existence" in other words, no matter what happened yesterday, today is a new day-what's in the past stays there. I got an A+ on that :) (HS Junior)

| Posted on 2010-01-07 | by a guest


.: :.

the Tide=Time and Obstacles
Twilight Darkening=Face of death
Curlew Calls=Call of death
Seas=Hell
Sea x x of death
Morning=Start of new Beginning .. and comes the Time and Obstacles again...
its my opinion

| Posted on 2009-12-15 | by a guest


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not to take simple things for granted. tides- continue forever. day and night- things andd life that come and go often. traveler- events or people who pass by once and never comes back.

| Posted on 2009-11-15 | by a guest


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It represents the changes throughout time. And the constants. Although the travler will never walk the shore again (his footprints vanish thus will he), the tide will change and the waves will fall.

| Posted on 2009-07-13 | by a guest


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This poem is about the passage of time, Longfellow takes his time to describe the time it is very carefully. The nightfall signals the end of life, the darkness is the sorrow that comes with death, in this case, the death of the traveller, it doesn't even have to be death, just the absence is enough. The fact that the 'day returns' is the continuation of life, a rebirth of sorts, a faint memory of the traveler is still there. The waves erasing the footprints is like the importance of a person, as their descendants grow distant from them.
--HS junior

| Posted on 2009-06-10 | by a guest


.: :.

tide rising and tide falling is like the ups and downs in life? poem is about death of the traveler and forgotten memories (efface footprints).
~elementary student

| Posted on 2009-05-10 | by a guest




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