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”The Sea” by James Reeves

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  • Pages: 7
  • Word count: 1654
  • Category: Poetry

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J.Reeves has successfully used the dog metaphor to elicit the behaviors of the sea at many occasions. The poet compares the different behaviors of the dog at different moods with the sea. The first stanza shows the begining of the violence due to the hungry nature of the dog which metaphoricaly depicts the sea waves turning out to be heavy and rough. The second stanza shows the waves quickening and becoming more rough due to the enviromental change, thereby the dog is so hungry and angry that it is ready to eat anything it finds. While the third stanza depicting the total calmness and quietness of the sea which means that the dog, after undergoing all these it becomes tired and falls

The criterion of the actions of the sea and its behaviour pattern is eloquently depicted in the poem. The Sea, James Reeve’s diction style, rhythm and thyme, the metaphors and the tone itself create the actual image of changing moods of the sea. Firstly James Reeves introduces the sea in the form of “a hungry dog” with all its activities, actions and reactions. The reader is able to visualise the image of the “hungry dog” “clashing teeth and shaggy jaws” Hour upon hour he gnaws”. The awful sound of the waves rolling towards the beach with his “Clashing teeth and shaggy jaws”. Usually the sea is compared to the grace and beauty of a woman, expressing the movements of the feminine gender, but here James Reeves has employed a character of the canine; the drastic actions of the angry sea . “The rumbling tumbling stones”. “And bones, bones, bones, bones”.

The repetition of the word BONES mirrors forth the drastic actions and the fierce behaviour pattern of the SEA DOG. Every action is symbolised by the giant Sea Dog. “Shaking his wet sides over the cliffs and howls and hollows long and ‘loud” The roaring sea with its fierce actions depicting the fierce behaviour pattern of a sea dog getting back to its normal mood during the months of May and June. “But on quiet days in May or June,

Whenever the grasses on the dune
Play no more their sandy tune,
He lies on the sandy shores
So quiet,
So quiet,
He scarcely snores”
The calm and serene mood of the sea is symbolised by the image of a dog – fierce and drastic at one time and calm and quiet at other times, The calmness of the Changing Sea is highlighted by the words “So quiet

So quiet
He scarcely snores”
The varied rhyming pattern serving itself to create the visual image of the sea calm and glorious at one time and nasty and rough at other times. The animal behaviour pattern of the dog with the characteristic beastly action ‘sniffs and sniffs’, “rolls gnaws, moans, clashing teeth, shaggy jaws, greasy paws, justifying the similies used by the poet to describe the changing mood of the sea and the “hungry dog”. The picturesque presentation of the sea and its similarity to the canine behaviour, pattern, mirror forth the radical changes of the sea from period to period. The picturesque presentation of the sea in its various moods strike the reader in a forceful manner. The semantic procedure of the Poet in creating the images of a HUNGRY DOG and a QUIET DOG is eloquently brought forth creating a cinematic view of the procedure of the sea in different ways.

The sea is grammatically neuter in gender, but usually the sea assumes feminine gender. In this poem the writer uses neuter gender, presenting the DOG IMAGE – The “contented dog, and the hungry dog” the poet has personified it by using “he” bringing much life and colour to the procedure of the Dog’s behaviour pattern, the poet has created the suitable background for his ideas to be expressed in a profound manner; the fierce hungry dog and the contented dog expressing the moods of the sea. The rhyming scheme functions in an efficient manner creating the HUNGRY DOG and the CONTENTED DOG the rhyming pattern is well maintained though the metre varies at times. The opening line and the last line of each verse varies a little. The poet has maintained the varied tones of the behaviour pattern of the sea beautifully and elegantly. James Reeve’s poem THE SEA remains as a piece of literature that could be appreciated and enjoyed by the reader visualising the varied tones and behaviour pattern of the sea in its splendour and its ferocity. 3RD ONE

The poem “The Sea” written by James Reeves makes me feel excited and jumpy. But then it makes me feel calm and peaceful. I believe the reason why I feel this way is because I spend a lot of time in the ocean almost as if I was a part of it. Therefore, when the waves pick up and start smashing against the ocean floor I start to feel powerful and strong as if I am “The sea.” When I read this I was nervous about what the sea might do. I was nervous that the sea would hurt or kill someone with its tremendous power and strength. Sometimes I feel as if I have the same power. Well not the power to kill someone but sometimes I am worried I might hurt someone with physical or verbal force. It has happened to me before and I feel as if the Sea has the same characteristics.

James Reeves describes the sea as a hungry dog. I know that dog’s will do almost anything for food when they’re hungry and even if the mean it or not they usually tend to hurt people when they grab or try to snag some food.. When I read the ending of the poem I started to feel relaxed and peaceful inside because at the end of the poem the dog starts to relax. I think I also feel this way because of my background history. When I was little my parents would take my to very exotic places (which was pointless because I don’t remember any of it) and we would sleep right next to the ocean. And as you know when you are young you take lots of naps and sleeps so when I went to these places which was often and I would fall asleep to the sound of the ocean. Since I also currently live right next to the sea and almost spend as much time on the water as I do on dry land the sea is a place where I can be alone and quiet. I can find my inner peace.

The subject matter of this poem is a story of the sea. The poem I believe talks about the power the sea has. At the beginning of the poem “The Sea” which is referred to as a hungry dog which can mean a lot of things, is described as a playful and excited god. But then the dog or the sea starts to feel the need for power and starts to gain anger bit by bit. The sea starts to get angry and upset causing it to roar and pounce against the rocks. Then the sea or dog calms down and relaxes. The dog described as the sea I believe is restless and upset. I believe the reason why the poet is referring to the sea as a hungry dog is because it has some of the same characteristics as a dog. All dogs want to be played with and cuddled with. The sea as well wants to be used and played with. But dogs also want their alone time and quiet time. Just like the sea. The sea is another world. The sea is home to marine animals. The sea wants to have its alone time and not have its users hurt and taken away from it. Just like a dog when it’s bone is takes away this happens, the sea becomes angry and upset. Therefore I found the reason why the poet used the personification of the sea to a dog quite justifiable. However there could be another reason why “The Sea” becomes angry. Loneliness.

I believe the message or the moral of this poem is to release and let go of anger and frustrations and help those whom seem alone and unloved. I came up with this moral because from the poem the sea which is described as a hungry dog whom is all alone and could just be angry because of it freedom to do whatever it may wish. “The giant sea-dog moans/Licking his greasy paws./And when the night wind roars/And the moon rocks in the stormy cloud,/He bounds to his feet and snuffs and sniffs,/Shaking his wet sides over the cliffs,/Shaking his wet sides over the cliffs,/And howls and hollos long and loud.”

From this quote I believe that the poet is telling us how the freedom of being able to whatever we may wish or please can affect us in many ways. It can be good and bad, bad or good whichever way it falls. For example, the dog which is the sea is able to do whatever it pleases and wishes. This gives the dog the upside of freedom but on the downside, being alone and away from everyone can cause anger and emptiness. Being alone from people too long and away from people and society can drive someone crazy. The dog then takes out his anger and frustration by pounding and jumping and howling in the night. The most terrible poverty is loneliness and the feeling of being unloved. It can make you angry, sad, upset, depressed and crazy. From loneliness people go deranged and mad. So, when you see someone alone go sit with them and talk to them. “Do onto other as you would do onto yourself.” It will change their lives forever.

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