Seascape Essay

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When I think of the sea, I picture the cool breeze blowing on my face, the peaceful sound of the waves or the sun setting in the background. However, when I read the newspaper, a different picture of the sea has been painted. There are reports on the Tsunami splashed across the front page, or how a ship has capsized due to the furry of the sea. In the poem ‘Seascape’ by Stephen Spender, we come face to face with this two-faced nature of the sea. Spender has described the two contrasting views of the ocean through the shift between the praising tone towards the ocean and the tone of resentment in stanza three, where he has attempt to convey sadness towards the loss of human lives to the furies of the sea. The first stanza begins with a tone of appreciation towards the sea. “There are some days the happy ocean lies”, setting the tone of the poem as very calm and peaceful, “like an unfingered harp’. When the harp is played it creates music just like when the sea is not calm we can hear the sound of the waves. As the “afternoon gilds all the silent wires”, the poet describes the setting of the sun and its orange color reflected in the sea. Sensory and visual imagery is used as the poet says “into a burning music for the eyes”, and this imagery is used to show that as the waves start to appear during sunset it creates music for the ears and a picturesque view for the eyes. The reflection of the sunlight is seen through the “mirrors flashing between the fine-strung fires”, and these fine- strung fires represent the uniformity of the waves and the sun’s reflection in between the ebbs and tides of the waves. These fine-strung fires are also compared to the harp’s wires and the space in between these wires is equal as the distance between the ebb and tide of the wave are equal. The alliteration in “mirrors flashing between fine-strung fires”, brings attention to the

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