The Tide Rises, The Tide Falls - The Tide Rises The Tide...

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“The Tide Rises, The Tide Falls”by Henry Wadsworth LongfellowHenry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)Theme: Human life is temporary in contrast to the eternal cycles of nature.Meter: Pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables in poetry. Foot: A metrical unit of poetry. Always contains at least one stressed syllable and one ormore unstressed syllables.Iamb: A common type of foot; one unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable.This poem is iambic. He avoids a purely iambic meter in the first line by pairing twostressed syllables. This is called a spondee. In many of the lines there is a pause which reinforces the iambic beat. Ex: “The tide rises//the tide falls” and “The twilight darkens//the curlew falls.”The meter, like the tides, is a steady rising and falling, a slow, continuous beat.A literary critic, Cecil Williams, wrote that the waves and the tide in this poem were symbolic of life. Nature’s cycles are unending. The seasons change; time passes, and the tide rises and falls. A person’s lifetime is finite.

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