Poem Summary(Seafarer)

1454 Words Jul 19th, 2011 6 Pages
Poem Summary(seafarer)
Lines 1-5
The elegiac, personal tone is established from the beginning. The speaker pleads to his audience about his honesty and his personal self-revelation to come. He tells of the limitless suffering, sorrow, and pain and his long experience in various ships and ports. The speaker never explains exactly why he is driven to take to the ocean.
Lines 6-11
Here, the speaker conveys intense, concrete images of cold, anxiety, stormy seas, and rugged shorelines. The comparisons relating to imprisonment are many, combining to drag the speaker into his prolonged state of anguish. The adverse conditions affect both his physical body (his feet) and his spiritual sense of worth (his heart).
Lines 12-16
The loneliness and
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The cuckoo, a bird of happiness and summer, contrasts with the earlier lists of winter ocean birds. The point is that these pleasant summer thoughts also bring the seafarer’s wanderlust back again. The comfortable person mourns but does not understand the reason why he is called to abandon city life and search the frozen, stormy seas. Suffering and exile are not lessons well learned in good weather with city comforts; thus, the speaker implies that everyone must experience deprivation at sea to learn life’s most important lesson — reliance on God.
Lines 58-64
In this conclusion of the first major section, the seafarer says that his mind and heart constantly seek to roam the sea because that is acceptance of life itself. The paradox of the seafarer’s excitement at beginning the journey shows his acceptance of suffering to come. Despite knowing of the isolation and deprivation, the speaker still is driven to resume his life at sea. Breaking his ties with humanity, the speaker expresses his thrill at returning to his tortuous wandering.
Lines 65-68
The speaker announces the theme of the second section: that the joys of accepting God’s will far exceed any form of wealth or earthly pleasure. Earthly wealth cannot reach heaven, nor can it transcend life. This section grows less personal and becomes mostly theological and didactic in nature.
Lines 69-72
Describing three ways of death, the speaker says that no man
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