A Short Analysis of Tennyson’s ‘Crossing the Bar’

An oft-used poem when telling the sad news that a member of the Great Brotherhood known as the Royal Navy has passed away, very apt,very moving.

Interesting Literature

A summary of a classic late poem

‘Crossing the Bar’ was one of Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s last poems, composed in 1889, just three years before the end of a long life and prolific career. (He would be UK Poet Laureate for 42 years in total, a record still unsurpassed.) Given its elegiac tone, ‘Crossing the Bar’ has often been analysed or interpreted as Tennyson’s elegy for himself: it describes his anticipation of the ‘crossing’ he must make from life to death.

Crossing the Bar

Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,

But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

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