Wednesday, September 29, 2010

"Crossing the Bar" by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

In regards to the context of "Crossing the Bar", Tennyson's imagery describes a speaker's accepting attitude towards death. At the beginning of the poem, when it says "one clear call for me!", the speaker is being called to pass on. The sand bar itself is the barrier between life and death, and when he speaks of crossing it he is referring to crossing over into heaven. It was in the last two lines that I found religious references as well. In heaven, the speaker wants to see his "Pilot" which is used as an alternate word for God. I think there is also further significance to the word "cross" because Jesus died on the cross and the speaker is using an analogy with the same word to signify his own death. Although it could be a coincidence, I saw a connection between the two. One last important detail I saw was that the speaker wished for a peaceful death. He said that he didn't want his friends or relatives to cry or mourn for him after his death, and wanted "no sadness of farewell" because he would be at peace with the situation. He wanted them to take comfort in the idea that he is going to be carried beyond time and space to be reunited with his Creator.

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