Crossing the Bar

January 26, 2017 General Studies

This poem “Crossing the Bar” is written by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. It involves numerous amounts of metaphors throughout the entire poem. It is abut death, but the author tells death as a story of himself setting out to sea. (The journey to the unknown).

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The setting of this poem is obviously the sea. Tennyson is on a boat going on a journey to death. The title is also a metaphor. In actuality, a bar is a sand boundary in the ocean. In this poem, the bar is the imaginary line between life and death. The opening line is also a metaphor (“Sunset and evening star,”) for the ending of the day or the beginning of death. The “boundless deep” in line 7 is what is not life; The unknown or death. In line 8, “turns again home” means that dying is actually going home since we came from the unknown so we go back to the unknown, The last obvious metaphor is the “Pilot” in line 15 which represents God.


The tone of the poem is very interesting, Most people fear death, but Tennyson makes it seem soothing and a way of going back home. The ocean is very peaceful and tranquil. Therefore, he is saying that death is the same way. Tennyson is obviously not afraid of death because he thinks of death as going back home.

Each stanza in the poem represents a part of the story. The first two stanzas explain that death is a natural thing and that people shouldn’t cry over him when he dies (And may there be a moaning of the bar.” line 3). In the second stanza, line 5 says something about the tide moving in and out on the shore. This represents life and how the tides move there are good days and bad days like how the tide goes in and out. If there is a big tide, its a dramatic event in life. If it is a tiny wave then it’s the little things in life.

This poem was very interesting. It makes the reader to think of death as a way of going home. The way Tennyson uses the words are very soothing . It contained an interesting metaphor within a metaphor feel.


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