The Sound of the Sea Essay

“The Sound of the Sea” is a sonnet by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. depicting the sounds of the sea and associating it to human inspiration. Through merely audile images of the sea and other powerful natural forces. Longfellow efficaciously alludes to the nature of human inspiration. Through elaborate and centripetal imagination. Longfellow communicates the elusive inside informations of the human psyche and how inspiration maps. The Sound of the Sea” consists of 14 lines and a peculiar rime strategy ( abba abba cde cde ) . The first eight lines of the poem consist of one drawn out sentence. which is the description of the sound of the sea and other natural forces. which so in the concluding six. which besides consists of merely one sentence. are used by Longfellow as a metaphor to touch to the inspirations of the human psyche.

The alteration in the rhyme strategy of the sonnet and the two concrete sentences. function to help this passage from description of the sea to speculation on the beginning of inspiration. Longfellow uses this word picture of the sea to pass on the nature of human inspiration. which he claims comes to us from an unvisited and lone infinite in our psyche and though we recognition it to ourselves. it is in fact something beyond our control or apprehension. something of a godly nature.

With the get downing line. Longfellow efficaciously conveys this construct that inspiration comes from an “inaccessible” infinite within us by depicting the sea as holding “awoken” at “midnight” . as midnight is associated with the centre of the dark. the dark and the unknown. this proposing that inspiration is aroused within dark dimensions of ourselves. someplace our witting head has non strayed. This besides suggests that the sea. whose many huge dark deepnesss remain undiscovered. represents this unknown infinite within our psyche. and this imagination is furthered by the description of the moving ridge of the tide hotfooting onto the “the pebbly beaches far and wide” .

Beachs are the appendages of the sea. where land. a terrain really good known to us. Begins and sea terminals. and this imagination suggests that these beaches are the border of our consciousness. Furthermore the labial sounds of the letters “p” and “b” in “pebbly beaches” give an uneven pronunciation to the words. which are contrasted with the smooth drawn out “ar” . “ide” sounds in the words far. broad and tide.

This contrast serves to pass on the scattered nature of our consciousness with the integrity. elegance and fluidness of our subconscious. Furthermore. these drawn out sounds serve to besides foster the imagination of the tide’s “uninterrupted sweep” which is peculiarly effectual in conveying the image of the moving ridge hotfooting to envelope the shore. the word “uninterrupted” conveying this sense that the moving ridge of inspiration is all smooth and relentless. This imagination is furthered by the 3 line-long section. uninterrupted by punctuation.

Yet. the cardinal point made in these four lines is when the talker states that “ ( he ) heard” the moving ridges. The description of the sea gives you a mental image. but Longfellow stresses upon the fact that the talker merely hears the tide. as this can be seen reflected in the rubric of the verse form “The Sound of the Sea” . Hearing is an audile action that allows one to be cognizant of the presence of the object through the sound. but non visually or physically hold on it.

This suggests that inspiration is similar. in the sense that one can be cognizant of it but can non consciously grasp. control or rule it. In the 4th line. Longfellow provinces that it’s “A voice” from the “silence of the deep” . Here. the reader one time once more brushs this construct of being limited to merely the auditory senses. yet in this case. a “voice” is something clearly human. The construct of a voice you can listen to and follow. but non see the beginning. is normally associated with a godly presence.

This construct is solidified by the description in the undermentioned line. depicting it as a sound “mysteriously multiplied” . as the word cryptic suggests that its birthplace is non known and the word multiplied insinuates this generation of the strength of the voice. pass oning a sense of power. This sense of power is furthered by the natural descriptions in the two back-to-back lines. where the voice is compared to a “cataract from the mountain’s side” and a “roar of air currents upon a wooded steep” .

Both these descriptions are natural phenomenons of huge power. and who’s beginnings one can’t see. the air current being unseeable and the cataract holding its beginning deep within the mountain. These four lines can be related to the last four lines of the verse form. where it claims that these inspirations aren’t our ain. but some “divine prefiguration and foreseeing of things beyond our ground or control” . This insinuates that this inspiration is in fact some kind of Godhead gleam. a voice casting visible radiation. and that these godly influences are like the tide. beyond our human apprehension or control.

There is a cyclical form in the verse form. where the content of the first four lines with rhyme strategy abab. are tied with the content of the first three lines with the rime strategy cde and conversely between the 2nd and 4th portion of the verse form. The first and 3rd portion of the verse form insinuate that inspiration comes from within an unknown portion of your psyche. conveyed through imagination of the sea. and the 2nd and 4th portion convey the sense that these inspirations are really due to a godly presence. communicated through imagination of powerful natural happenings.

These two constructs are per se interlinked. and Longfellow utilizations this verse form construction to further this construct. which is that inspiration comes from within you because God is within you. and he uses natural imagination to pass on God within nature. In decision. “The Sound of the Sea” efficaciously creates a analogue between the metaphor of the sound of the sea with the godly nature of inspiration. Longfellow does so efficaciously through finely elaborate imagination that gives instead precise penetration into the human psyche.

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