BreakBreakBreak, By Alfred, Lord Tennyson

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Notes - Poem about the poet coping with his loss of a close friend - Implied that his friend died at sea; thus the blaming of sea for troubles - Implied further that the death was an accident due to natural forces; thus he emphasizes the destructive might of the sea - Tone of poem is generally sad and lonely, with the rhythm slow and regular. - These two aspects indicate a sense of resignation, sadness, and loneliness. - Rhyme is present between 2nd and 4th lines of every stanza. First stanza - Talks about how the sea is so intimidating, and how the united sea causes such an overwhelming wave of emotions in him that he is unable to express himself properly. Mentions a hint of fear and describes the sea as violent. - “Break Break Break” is a series of harsh syllables; symbolizes the violence, roughness and rashness of the sea. - “Break Break Break” is a series of three individual syllables, thus slowing down the rhythm. o The rhythm of the third and fourth lines of the first stanzas are also slow (quote the stressed-unstressed pattern) - Why “Break”, not something else like “whoosh”? same meaning o Sound and Annotation o Breaking is an act of physical force, to describe the poet’s impression of it as violent. - The exclamation mark makes the whole line sounds as if the Poet is cursing; a statement becomes a curse/expression. o Cursing the sea for his friend’s death? Probably - Compare “Break” to “Cold Gray Stones” o His character is fragile, while the stones (presumably part of the sea) are hard, bleak, and cold objects that are united in their contrast to him.  All the stone = Intimidation? - “Cold” and “Gray” are two adjectives that have synonymous meanings, describing the Cold, Bleak, Intimidating and Formidable appearance of the sea. - Note: “O sea” can be taken to be personification  A bully. A person that
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