This is an analysis of the poem A Sea Dream that begins with:

We saw the slow tides go and come,
The curving surf-lines lightly drawn,... full text

Elements of the verse: questions and answers

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  • Rhyme scheme: abab cdcd eeee dcdc fgfg ahah icic bcbc bajaa ebkbb gkdkk abfbb baXaa jfcff dbgbb Xebee ibibb agagg jaiaa eded eiei cdcd lhlh cacaXbhbh
  • Stanza lengths (in strings): 4,4,4,4,4,4,4,4,5,5,5,5,5,5,5,5,5,5,5,4,4,4,4,9,
  • Closest metre: iambic tetrameter
  • –°losest rhyme: alternate rhyme
  • –°losest stanza type: tercets
  • Guessed form: ballad stanza
  • Metre: 11011111 01011101 01110101 01011101 11010111 01101001 11010111 01110101 11010111 11011111 11010111 010100111 01110101 110010100 11011101 11011111 11110111 11001101 01010101 11010101 11010111 01011101 10010111 11000101 10110101 01110111 01010001 01110111 01110111 110011101 11000101 01010101 01110111 0111001 11110101 010111 010111 00010111 111101 11011101 010111 111111 11011101 011101 11110101 111101 110101 01000101 1100101 11011101 010101 010011 01010111 011111 11101101 010101 110101 11111111 111101 11011111 01100 1100111 01100100 111111 11111100 010101 010101 11111111 011111 01000101 0111001 010101 11011111 010101 01010011 1111001 010101 11111111 111111 010010111 1100101 011111 11110101 1001111 10010101 110111 010101 110100101 01010101 11110101 01010111 01010111 01010101 01010101 11011111 01010101 01110101 010010101 01010111 11010101 11111111 11011101 01001101 01111101 01110111 01010101 01010001 110101001 11010101 11111111 01110111
  • Amount of stanzas: 27
  • Average number of symbols per stanza: 134
  • Average number of words per stanza: 26
  • Amount of lines: 113
  • Average number of symbols per line: 31 (strings are less long than medium ones)
  • Average number of words per line: 6
  • Mood of the speaker:

    The punctuation marks are various. Neither mark predominates.

  • The author used lexical repetitions to emphasize a significant image; and, art, or, his, in are repeated.

    The poet used anaphora at the beginnings of some neighboring lines. The same words the, and, a, or, of are repeated.

    The author used the same word we at the beginnings of some neighboring stanzas. The figure of speech is a kind of anaphora.

If you write a school or university poetry essay, you should Include in your explanation of the poem:

  • summary of A Sea Dream;
  • central theme;
  • idea of the verse;
  • history of its creation;
  • critical appreciation.

Good luck in your poetry interpretation practice!

More information about poems by John Greenleaf Whittier

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