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Thread: Crossing The Bar Information/Meaning

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    Crossing The Bar Information/Meaning

    Hello members,

    I am a new member and am sending this note out in search of anyone that might be able to give more information on the meaning of the poem "Crossing The Bar". I have a dear friend that just passed away the past Monday and her husband found this poem in her belongings with a note on it to read at her funeral. I have been asked to read and it and would really like to find as much information on the poem as possible. Thank you to anyone that can share with me this information.

    Shoewizard

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    yes, that's me, your friendly Moderator 💚 Logos's Avatar
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    sparknotes.com has some interesting commentary on this poem
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    Here is an interesting bit of trivia shortly before Tennyson died, he wrote a note, asking that this poem be placed at the very end of all editions of his work, and even today people tend to honor that wish.

    The Pilot in line 15 was described by Tennyson as being "that Divine and Unseen Who is always guiding us.

    Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before. ~ Edgar Allan Poe

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    Vincit Qui Se Vincit Virgil's Avatar
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    It's always helpful to post the poem if possible. Here:

    Crossing The Bar
    by Lord Alfred Tennyson

    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.

    Twilight and evening bell,
    And after that the dark!
    And may there be no sadness of farewell,
    When I embark;

    For though from out our bourne of Time and Place
    The flood may bear me far,
    I hope to see my Pilot face to face
    When I have crossed the bar.
    It's about crossing over from life to death.
    LET THERE BE LIGHT

    "Love follows knowledge." St. Catherine of Siena

    My literature blog: http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/

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    Sorry I am being late to give my opinion.
    well, I just tent to give my analysis about "Crossing the Bar"
    fortunately, I got assignment from my lecture to make analysis about one of Alfred Tennyson's Poem, I chose Tennyson last poem, and I have finished it (I used several elements of poetry analysis), so I tent to attach my analysis and hopefully I get some critics from all you guys....
    Thank b4...


    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,
    To full for sound and foam
    When that which drew from out the boundless deep
    Turn again home.

    Twilight and evening bell,
    And after that the dark!
    And may there be no sadness of farewell,
    When I embark.

    For though from out the bourne of Time and Place.
    The flood may bear me far,
    I hope to see my Pilot face to face
    When I have crossed the bar.

    ALFRED LORD TENNYSON (1809-1892)



    Paraphrase of “Crossing the Bar”
    Everyone in this world will face their death and when they feel that their situation of death has been close, they usually feel like as a wretch of mere Humanity. In “Crossing the Bar” is describe that there is a persona who heralds the setting of sunset will change to evening star, and hears that he is being called by God. Hopefully the situation will peaceful or will not make the sad sound while crossing the transition or sets out to sea (crossing to next world). The persona also tells about the close of the day and the evening bell, and the dark will appear, and once again hopefully no one will cry while the persona departs. The last, when everything has happened, crossing go back to home (next world) from the sea (recent life), the persona hope can meet God (the Pilot). The ‘Bar’ is the sandbank.
    This poem is written by Alfred Lord Tennyson three years before he died.

    My Interpretation by using Denotative and Connotative Meaning
    In the poem ‘Crossing the Bar’ I get and try to focus in three keywords which have strong character and I hope these keywords will give me contribution to describe the meaning.
    According to my analysis the first keywords is ‘call’ (first stanza, second line) and another one is ‘embark’ (third stanza, last line). The words ‘call’ has denotative meaning; request, order, or demand for somebody to do something or to go somewhere (adopted from Oxford dictionary) and the connotative meaning is a summons of duty, here suggesting that of God; but it is ominous too. The word ‘call’ according to my analysis and regarding to what Alfred Lord Tennyson consideration is describe about the situation where the character has got a strong felling that God has given a sign. In addition, there is related sentence that support to my idea, it is ‘and may there be no moaning of the bar, when I put out the sea’ (first stanza, third and last line). This sentence describes about the silent situation when the calling appears and when the persona goes to next world.
    The second keyword is ‘embark’, this word has denotative meaning; go on aboard on ship or start something new (adopted from Oxford dictionary), and the connotative meaning is transition-time from life to death. By using this keyword I have additional clue to support my interpretation. It is clear that the persona can’t against the God’s request. The persona also hopes to other person to not be sad when everything happened because the persona thinks that he is mere common humanity. The bound sentence in this poem that support to my last interpretation is ‘Twilight and evening bell, and after that the dark, and may there be no sadness of farewell’ (Third stanza, first line up to third line).
    The last important keyword is ‘crossing’. This word has denotative meaning to go across from one side of something to the other. The connotative meanings are either crossing over to the next world or to the act of crossing oneself in the Catholic gesture of religious of fight and devotion. The cross was also where Jesus died, now as the persona himself dies.


    My interpretation by using Imagery
    This poem has three kinds of imagery. I am going to show those are shortly one by one base on my analysis.
    The first kinds of imagery are visual imageries, those are ‘sunset and evening star’ (first stanza, first line), ‘and after that the dark!’ stanza, second line), ‘I hope to see my Pilot face to face’ (last stanza, third line). These imageries can be caught as a situation where describe about the sequence time of person who has had limited time of life. The persona explained the ‘Pilot’ as a divinity or unseen person Who is always guiding us.
    The second kinds of imagery are kinesthetic imageries, those are ‘When I put out to sea’ (first stanza, last line), ‘But such a tide as moving seems asleep’ (second stanza, first line), ‘when I embark’ (third stanza, last line), ‘when I have crost the bar’ (last stanza, last line). These imageries can be understood as a process of the persona journey toward death. First, the persona start to sail, then everything (tide) seems calm. Next, landing and finally, cross the bar (death).
    The third kinds of imagery are auditory imageries, those are, ‘and one call for me’ (first stanza, second line), ‘evening bell’ (third stanza, first line). Those imageries mean that the sign from God. The persona hears that he has been called.
    The last kind of imagery is organic imagery. It is ‘be no sadness of farewell’. Here, the persona hopes that will not sadness in his farewell (when he goes away to another world).
    Last edited by ericson1st; 11-11-2008 at 04:09 PM.

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    Moaning of the bar

    In the mid fifties I studied this poem in a Victorian Poetry class. The professor explained that the meaning of the the term "moaning of the bar' was a sea farer's term of the time which referred to a situation in which the draft of the boat was such that it could not easily clear the sand bars so that the boat would shake and shiver as it attempted to free itself and clear bars that it might encounter. This shaking and shivering would give rise to vibrations which sounded very much like a moan. As a physicist and acoustician, I believe this is the most reasonable explanation.

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