The Sea James Reeves Essay

Analysis of "The Sea"by James Reeves Essay

794 WordsAug 13th, 20134 Pages

Poetry – The Sea

The poem “The Sea,” by James Reeves, presents to the reader a whole new different and imaginative view of the sea. You would expect that the sea and a dog are two completely unrelated things in this world, but whilst reading this intelligently thought out poem, you come to realise that they are in fact very alike and share many similarities. The effective use of onomatopoeia, metaphors, personification and assonance woven together by the poet shows you that the world is a peculiar place and that two unrelated things can be very much alike. Reeves also makes the reader agree that poetry gives us a special, imaginative view of the world around us.

The message that the poem “The Sea” is trying to send to the reader is…show more content…

However, in the final stanza, he uses a much more regular rhythm to highlight the serenity of the ‘sleeping’ sea.The sense of rhyme also adds a captivating feel to the poem and keeps the reader entertained. There is also a repetition of "bones" in line seven. This repetition reflects the eagerness of the sound when the dog is gnawing on the juicy bone.

In the poem, leading into the second stanza, Reeves analyses the sea on a stormy night and the delirious nature of the hungry dog when he is "shaking his wet sides over the cliffs." The image of waves crashing against a cliff is surprisingly similar to the image of a dog splashing around in a pool. The cliffs being the walls of the pool, the water being the sea and the dog the wind.

In the last stanza, Reeves connects the beautiful, tranquil sea to the calm attitude of a happy and no longer hungry dog. "Quiet days in May or June”, shows that the sea is serene and resembles a content, sleepy dog. "His head between his paws, He lies on the sandy shores, so quiet, so quiet. He scarcely snores" These last three lines of this poem show how calm they can be. It creates a large contrast between the previous conditions that they were in.

Reeves has effectively divided the poem "The Sea" into 3 stanzas. Each stanza shows a different aspect of one of nature’s wonders, the sea and a new aspect of the dog's nature.

In the last lines, lines 19-20, Reeves uses

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The Sea James Reeves Essay

The Sea - James Reeves

About the poet

John Morris Reeves (1 July 1909 - 1 May 1978) was a British writer known as James Reeves principally known for his poetry, plays and contributions to children's literature and the literature of collected traditional songs. His published books include poetry, stories and anthologies for both adults and children. He was also well known as a literary critic and broadcaster.

He was the son of Albert Reeves, an accountant, and Ethel Blenche, who was the son of a school mistress from Yarm in North East England - they met while on holiday in Switzerland. Subsequently they lived in Nottinghamshire where they had two children, David and John, who later changed his name to James.

He was born in Harrow, and educated at Stowe School and at Jesus College, Cambridge, where he read English and co-founded with Jacob Bronowski the literary magazine Experiment.

He began his writing career as a poet in 1936, and in 1945 turned his attention to writing for young readers. His first book of poems for children, The Wandering Moon, appeared in 1950, illustrated by Edward Ardizzone, with whom Reeves sustained a lifelong friendship and collaboration. Reeves worked as a teacher until 1952, when his failing eyesight forced him to retire and he became a full-time writer and editor.

He was close to Laura Riding for a time, being successor to Jacob Bronowski as editor of Epilogue: a critical summary. He was also an editor of some of the works of Robert Graves. His prose work for children commenced in 1956 and included short stories. "His real achievement, however, lies in his poetry, which is generally regarded as the best British 'serious' children's verse since Walter de la Mare - though the poems are usually far from serious in subject-matter."

The Sea - Poem

The sea is a hungry dog, Giant and grey. He rolls on the beach all day. With his clashing teeth and shaggy jaws Hour upon hour he gnaws The rumbling, tumbling stones, And 'Bones, bones, bones, bones! ' The giant sea-dog moans, Licking his greasy paws. And when the night wind roars And the moon rocks in the stormy cloud, He bounds to his feet and snuffs and sniffs, Shaking his wet sides over the cliffs, And howls and hollos long and loud. But on quiet days in May or June, When even the grasses on the dune Play no more their reedy tune, With his head between his paws He lies on the sandy shores, So quiet, so quiet, he scarcely snores.


The poet describes the sea which is his main subject. In describing the sea, he tries...

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