The Tide Falls

612 Words3 Pages
Everything around you has a rhythm. Birds in trees, music, even the ocean. In a sense, your life does too. Every rhythm eventually stops, as does every life. The ocean’s tide doesn’t stop, even when your life does. In the poem, “The Tide Rises, the Tide Falls” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow uses many literary devices to settle readers into a sense of false calmness, when the poem is actually about the complexities we face every day in life. Every day people overcome obstacles that can make them better, in the end. To accomplish this, Longfellow uses metaphor, imagery, and symbolism. The poem may be short, like some waves, but the literal and metaphorical meanings of the poem can either leave readers at a loss or even at ease. The poem has a beautiful extended metaphor, one Longfellow is able to convey with grace.…show more content…
The tide itself is a metaphor for a person’s life, nature, and even quite simply the ocean itself. Longfellow carefully chooses words that emphasize all of the ideas of the metaphors woven into the short lines of his poem. It is short, but it definitely packs a punch with its obvious and hidden meanings. The line, “the little waves, with their soft, white hands” is an example of how metaphor can coincide with personification. Longfellow uses many literary devices at once to establish the idea of the beauty of life, but also how irrelevant human life is. When you are gone, the legend you leave behind only lasts for so long, and the rest of the world, especially nature, as he implies, goes on without
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