Write short notes on the importance of the poetic devices used in the poem-Crossing The Bar.

The following poetic techniques/devices have been effectively used in the poem to achieve the maximum results.

Metaphor — “dark” and “sunset” are metaphors of death. The “flood may bear me far” signifies one’s unknown destination in death. The ‘bar’ stands for the boundary between life and death, “the Pilot” – the saviour or redeemer etc. These are strong references that create powerful poetic effects. This combines with some personifications like, “such a tide as moving seems asleep’ and “the flood may bear me far”. Neither the tide nor flood is animate but they have been ascribed some human qualities/attributes namely “asleep” and “bear”– carry.

The poem is rich in sound as a result of figures of sound-alliteration and repetition for emphasis. The alliterations include: “Sunset…star”, “clear calls”, “when…which”, “that the”, “for… from’’, may… me”, “face… face…“full for… foam” etc. The following are examples of repetition: “And one“, “And may there be”, “when I”, “evening”, “the bar”. The emphasis creates melody in the poem. Finally, these devices enhance the language of the poem by stretching its meaning beyond literal interpretation. Indeed, the poem is remarkable in the use the poetic devices.

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