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Crossing the Bar Analysis



Author: Poetry of Alfred, Lord Tennyson Type: Poetry Views: 3983





Sunset and evening star,

And one clear call for me!

And may there be no moaning of the bar,

When I put out to sea,



But such a tide as moving seems asleep,

Too full for sound and foam,

When that which drew from out the boundless deep

Turns again home.



Twilight and evening bell,

And after that the dark!

And may there be no sadness of farewell,

When I embark;



For through from out our bourne of Time and Place

The flood may bear me far,

I hope to see my Pilot face to face

When I have crossed the bar.





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

.: :.

I\'m to believe Alfred Lord Tennsyson wrote this poem when he himself was near death

| Posted on 2012-08-28 | by a guest


.: :.

Hi!
This site is really great!tnx for sharing:)) and tnx for the analysis I understand it more clearly now..:))

| Posted on 2012-01-10 | by a guest


.: :.

BRAVERY IS BEING TALK ABOUT WITH THE POEM CROSSING THE BAR.AND ALSO THERE IS ANOTHER LIFE AFTER DEATH

| Posted on 2011-10-18 | by a guest


.: :.

i think the waves that come into shore are calling him to his death. the horizon might be the line between life and death

| Posted on 2011-03-25 | by a guest


.: :.

thank you for information that i can see in this website... im finish for my project::))

| Posted on 2011-03-12 | by a guest


.: :.

Hey guys. I have been writing a paper about this and I was wondering if anyone knows the Symbolis of this Poem. It is due tomorrow and i guess nobody is going to answer me and so well thanks for your answers ;3 bai

| Posted on 2011-01-24 | by a guest


.: :.

A student who is preparing for a teacher\'s exam recently asked me how I would describe the tone of this poem. I thought it over and replied, \"Religious faith, resignation, serenity.\" Wrong, apparently, according to the practice exam he\'d just taken: the correct answer was supposed to be \"morbid.\" To which I could only reply with a few expletives and the comment, \"What tone-deaf dingbat wrote that exam?\" Tennyson\'s imagery and tonality are both peaceful and full of calm acceptance. The asymmetrical meters of the lines, to my ears at least, suggest the rolling of ocean waves and complement the image of the sea at sunset. As for the metaphor of God as the pilot who guides the sailor across the bar, there\'s nothing subtle or difficult to understand about that. There\'s a reason why this poem has been set to music and sung by church choirs as a Christian hymn.

| Posted on 2010-12-27 | by a guest


.: :.

Very handy website!!! I found TPCASTT answers 2 this site!!! Thanks for posting! XOXOXOXOXOXOXO

| Posted on 2010-12-06 | by a guest


.: :.

The poem is an elegant piece of writing using imagery of sunset, darkening sky and the endless movement of the sea to create a sense that Tennyson wishes to convey of the finite moment of death that we all face in the Time and Place of this world simply being the beginning of a new journey of infinite dimensions. I have carried a little copy of this poem in my wallet for years - it has always put life\'s struggles into perspective!

| Posted on 2010-10-17 | by a guest


.: :.

this poem really teaches us about religious things ,, it teaches us that we should live our life to the fullest

| Posted on 2010-09-21 | by a guest


.: :.

this is for tommy, we think it is so awesome that you got your banana cut off! LOL ;P

| Posted on 2010-06-24 | by a guest


.: :.

hi im a fifth grader from india and i love this poem it has so much meaning to it and i learned the fact that the secret of life is death. all thanks to this poem i realize that our best works will be revealed when you feel that yu are going to come to an end and you have to do something to be recognized.

| Posted on 2010-06-04 | by a guest


.: :.

hi im a fifth grader from india and i love this poem it has so much meaning to it and i learned the fact that the secret of life is death. all thanks to this poem i realize that our best works will be revealed when you feel that yu are going to come to an end and you have to do something to be recognized.

| Posted on 2010-06-04 | by a guest


.: :.

Wow people copy and pasted Sparknotes. You guys are smart! (the least you can do is cite!)

| Posted on 2010-05-08 | by a guest


.: :.

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.

| Posted on 2010-03-28 | by a guest


.: :.

I belive that this poem is about the author approching his death with bravery .''i hope to see my pilot face to face'' (line15)

| Posted on 2010-03-11 | by a guest


.: :.

Hey guys its Tommy back again and i just wanted to tell you that i'm going to cut my bananas off today and i will shave it off completely because i'm the most popular kid in this school... i love poetry and go the doggies!

| Posted on 2010-02-11 | by a guest


.: :.

Hey guys back again just checking in to say that im really enjoying poetry and the Doggies.
Yours Faithfully Tommy well as all my best mates call me "Banana" lol i have no clue why but they do .
poetry is concervative

| Posted on 2010-02-11 | by a guest


.: :.

Hey i'm Tommy and i love poetry and go the doggies!!!

| Posted on 2010-02-11 | by a guest


.: :.

This all been copied from other trusted sources!!!

| Posted on 2010-02-11 | by a guest


.: :.

wow. people are just taking stuff from spark notes and copying it on here, with maybe a small change of their own, but seriously, this poem is about crossing over and dying...duh! and i only posted that to get through and not be named as "spam"

| Posted on 2009-05-03 | by a guest


.: :.

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: (lines 3 & 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 he died. The poem describes his placid and accepting attitude toward death. Although he followed this work with subsequent poems, he requested that "Crossing the Bar" appear as the final poem in all collections of his work.

Tennyson uses the metaphor of a sand bar to describe the barrier between life and death. A sandbar is a ridge of sand built up by currents along a shore. In order to reach the shore, the waves must crash against the sandbar, creating a sound that Tennyson describes as the "moaning of the bar." The bar is one of several images of liminality in Tennyson's poetry: in "Ulysses," the hero desires "to sail beyond the sunset"; in "Tithonus", the main character finds himself at the "quiet limit of the world," and regrets that he has asked to "pass beyond the goal of ordinance."

The other important image in the poem is one of "crossing," suggesting Christian connotations: "crossing" refers both to "crossing over" into the next world, and to the act of "crossing" oneself in the classic Catholic gesture of religious faith and devotion. The religious significance of crossing was clearly familiar to Tennyson, for in an earlier poem of his, the knights and lords of Camelot "crossed themselves for fear" when they saw the Lady of Shalott lying dead in her boat. The cross was also where Jesus died; now as Tennyson himself dies, he evokes the image again. So, too, does he hope to complement this metaphorical link with a spiritual one: he hopes that he will "see [his] Pilot face to face."

The ABAB rhyme scheme of the poem echoes the stanzas' thematic patterning: the first and third stanzas are linked to one another as are the second and fourth. Both the first and third stanzas begin with two symbols of the onset of night: "sunset and evening star" and "twilight and evening bell." The second line of each of these stanzas begins with "and," conjoining another item that does not fit together as straightforwardly as the first two: "one clear call for me" and "after that the dark!" Each of these lines is followed by an exclamation point, as the poet expresses alarm at realizing what death will entail. These stanzas then conclude with a wish that is stated metaphorically in the first stanza: "may there be no moaning of the bar / When I put out to sea"; and more literally in the third stanza: "And may there be no sadness of farewell / When I embark." Yet the wish is the same in both stanzas: the poet does not want his relatives and friends to cry for him after he dies. Neither of these stanzas concludes with a period, suggesting that each is intimately linked to the one that follows.

The second and fourth stanzas are linked because they both begin with a qualifier: "but" in the second stanza, and "for though" in the fourth. In addition, the second lines of both stanzas connote excess, whether it be a tide "too full for sound and foam" or the "far" distance that the poet will be transported in death.

Poems1889Sunset and evening star, And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar, When I put out to sea, But such a tide as moving seems asleep, Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep Turns again home. Twilight and evening bell, and after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell, When I embark; For though' from out our Bourne of Time and Place The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face When I have crust the bar.

| Posted on 2009-04-14 | by a guest


.: :.

the analysis is the ABAB rhyme scheme of the poem echoes the stanzas' thematic patterning:the first and the third stanzas are linked to one another as are the second and fourth

| Posted on 2009-04-14 | by a guest


.: :.

I've done research. Tennyson was NOT religious. He claimed to be more pantheistic than anything. When he refers to his "Pilot", he refers to whatever may be next, whether it be God or otherwise.
If you're doing research on Tennyson or this poem, please know this fact. It's pretty important.
:)

| Posted on 2009-03-12 | by a guest


.: :.

he is crossing over to the other side and he doesn't want his loved ones to feel sad because he knows its his time.

| Posted on 2009-02-26 | by a guest


.: :.

he is off to find his soul
what drove his meaning and his living.

| Posted on 2008-11-17 | by a guest


.: :.

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 he died. The poem describes his placid and accepting attitude toward death. Although he followed this work with subsequent poems, he requested that "Crossing the Bar" appear as the final poem in all collections of his work.

Tennyson uses the metaphor of a sand bar to describe the barrier between life and death. A sandbar is a ridge of sand built up by currents along a shore. In order to reach the shore, the waves must crash against the sandbar, creating a sound that Tennyson describes as the "moaning of the bar." The bar is one of several images of liminality in Tennyson's poetry: in "Ulysses," the hero desires "to sail beyond the sunset"; in "Tithonus", the main character finds himself at the "quiet limit of the world," and regrets that he has asked to "pass beyond the goal of ordinance."

The other important image in the poem is one of "crossing," suggesting Christian connotations: "crossing" refers both to "crossing over" into the next world, and to the act of "crossing" oneself in the classic Catholic gesture of religious faith and devotion. The religious significance of crossing was clearly familiar to Tennyson, for in an earlier poem of his, the knights and lords of Camelot "crossed themselves for fear" when they saw the Lady of Shalott lying dead in her boat. The cross was also where Jesus died; now as Tennyson himself dies, he evokes the image again. So, too, does he hope to complement this metaphorical link with a spiritual one: he hopes that he will "see [his] Pilot face to face."


The ABAB rhyme scheme of the poem echoes the stanzas' thematic patterning: the first and third stanzas are linked to one another as are the second and fourth. Both the first and third stanzas begin with two symbols of the onset of night: "sunset and evening star" and "twilight and evening bell." The second line of each of these stanzas begins with "and," conjoining another item that does not fit together as straightforwardly as the first two: "one clear call for me" and "after that the dark!" Each of these lines is followed by an exclamation point, as the poet expresses alarm at realizing what death will entail. These stanzas then conclude with a wish that is stated metaphorically in the first stanza: "may there be no moaning of the bar / When I put out to sea"; and more literally in the third stanza: "And may there be no sadness of farewell / When I embark." Yet the wish is the same in both stanzas: the poet does not want his relatives and friends to cry for him after he dies. Neither of these stanzas concludes with a period, suggesting that each is intimately linked to the one that follows.

The second and fourth stanzas are linked because they both begin with a qualifier: "but" in the second stanza, and "for though" in the fourth. In addition, the second lines of both stanzas connote excess, whether it be a tide "too full for sound and foam" or the "far" distance that the poet will be transported in death.
created by shinranj^^

| Posted on 2008-11-05 | by a guest


.: :.

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 he died. The poem describes his placid and accepting attitude toward death. Although he followed this work with subsequent poems, he requested that "Crossing the Bar" appear as the final poem in all collections of his work.

Tennyson uses the metaphor of a sand bar to describe the barrier between life and death. A sandbar is a ridge of sand built up by currents along a shore. In order to reach the shore, the waves must crash against the sandbar, creating a sound that Tennyson describes as the "moaning of the bar." The bar is one of several images of liminality in Tennyson's poetry: in "Ulysses," the hero desires "to sail beyond the sunset"; in "Tithonus", the main character finds himself at the "quiet limit of the world," and regrets that he has asked to "pass beyond the goal of ordinance."

The other important image in the poem is one of "crossing," suggesting Christian connotations: "crossing" refers both to "crossing over" into the next world, and to the act of "crossing" oneself in the classic Catholic gesture of religious faith and devotion. The religious significance of crossing was clearly familiar to Tennyson, for in an earlier poem of his, the knights and lords of Camelot "crossed themselves for fear" when they saw the Lady of Shalott lying dead in her boat. The cross was also where Jesus died; now as Tennyson himself dies, he evokes the image again. So, too, does he hope to complement this metaphorical link with a spiritual one: he hopes that he will "see [his] Pilot face to face."


The ABAB rhyme scheme of the poem echoes the stanzas' thematic patterning: the first and third stanzas are linked to one another as are the second and fourth. Both the first and third stanzas begin with two symbols of the onset of night: "sunset and evening star" and "twilight and evening bell." The second line of each of these stanzas begins with "and," conjoining another item that does not fit together as straightforwardly as the first two: "one clear call for me" and "after that the dark!" Each of these lines is followed by an exclamation point, as the poet expresses alarm at realizing what death will entail. These stanzas then conclude with a wish that is stated metaphorically in the first stanza: "may there be no moaning of the bar / When I put out to sea"; and more literally in the third stanza: "And may there be no sadness of farewell / When I embark." Yet the wish is the same in both stanzas: the poet does not want his relatives and friends to cry for him after he dies. Neither of these stanzas concludes with a period, suggesting that each is intimately linked to the one that follows.

The second and fourth stanzas are linked because they both begin with a qualifier: "but" in the second stanza, and "for though" in the fourth. In addition, the second lines of both stanzas connote excess, whether it be a tide "too full for sound and foam" or the "far" distance that the poet will be transported in death.

| Posted on 2008-11-05 | by a guest


.: :.

I will exterminate all of you! HAHAHA!
I am not human HAHA!
I managed to get through your stupid Spam filter HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

| Posted on 2008-03-24 | by a guest


.: :.

sunset and evening star symbolises calm, how everything ends in the evening. There is a feeling of peace.He wants a wave so full that 'no sound and foam' to carry him away into the far depth of the ocean, wanting to leave quietly, but sadly.
Stanza one shows his first thought of death, i think that he reinstigate his mind to die in stanza three as the last time before his action of dying in the last stanza
twilight and evening bell symbolises the day close
i feel that there is irony here:-how excitement and curiousity is expressed when he wants to die, a kind of way of how death is looked forward to.

| Posted on 2007-09-19 | by a guest


.: A Short Analysis :.

Tennyson is expressing his thoughts as he approaches death, which is what will happen when he "crosses the bar." He is wishing for a painless death for himself, as well as a death that will not bring great sadness to the ones that he has loved and that have loved him. The last stanza shows his uncertainty about what is to come yet he wishes to meet his maker, the driver of his ship, the Pilot, God. The overall tone of this poem is relatively jovial and excited, which is ironic since the poem is about death. This paradox shows Tennyson's acceptance of death.

| Posted on 2007-02-05 | by a guest


.: :.

This poem is written as a person's thoughts as opposed to a lesson of some sort. The poem has an unknown but welcoming tone. Line 15 emphasizes this giving a feeling of excitement and curiosity for that which is coming. The sea manages to create a very peaceful feeling which is very effective in helping to get the speaker's message across. Pilot is symbolic of God and when he is mentioned in lines fifteen and sixteen it represents that there is an after life. The rhyme scheme in the poem is ABAB, but it is not only the individual lines that follow the ABAB pattern it is also followed by the stanzas.

| Posted on 2005-11-13 | by Approved Guest


.: reference to religion :.

This poem is written as a person's thoughts as opposed to a lesson of some sort. The poem has an unknown but welcoming tone. Line 15 emphasizes this giving a feeling of excitement and curiosity for that which is coming. The sea manages to create a very peaceful feeling which is very effective in helping to get the speaker's message across. Pilot is symbolic of God and when he is mentioned in lines fifteen and sixteen it represents that there is an after life. The rhyme scheme in the poem is ABAB, but it is not only the individual lines that follow the ABAB pattern it is also followed by the stanzas.

| Posted on 2005-05-19 | by Approved Guest




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