The Sea by James Reeves
‘The sea is a hungry dog,
Giant and grey.
He rolls on the beach all day.’
This poem is excellent for developing personification and metaphor. You can read the full text of this poem here.
There is a really good analysis of this poem, with biographical details about James Reeves here.
Listen to the poet reading it here.
This video has been produced with simple pictures to illustrate the words.
Classroom activities and questions:
Rehearse a class performance of the poem, with different groups working on different verses. Think about using different voices, speaking together, actions, different volume, speaking in sympathy with the words.
Draw a picture based on the words you have heard.
Look for examples of personification and metaphor in the poem.
Try replacing them with examples of your own.
Brainstorm words matching the different moods of the sea. Write your own poem about the sea.
James Reeves (1909-1978)
Analysis of "The Sea"by James Reeves Essay
794 WordsAug 13th, 20134 Pages
Poetry – The Sea
The poem “The Sea,” by James Reeves, presents to the reader a whole new different and imaginative view of the sea. You would expect that the sea and a dog are two completely unrelated things in this world, but whilst reading this intelligently thought out poem, you come to realise that they are in fact very alike and share many similarities. The effective use of onomatopoeia, metaphors, personification and assonance woven together by the poet shows you that the world is a peculiar place and that two unrelated things can be very much alike. Reeves also makes the reader agree that poetry gives us a special, imaginative view of the world around us.
The message that the poem “The Sea” is trying to send to the reader is…show more content…
However, in the final stanza, he uses a much more regular rhythm to highlight the serenity of the ‘sleeping’ sea.The sense of rhyme also adds a captivating feel to the poem and keeps the reader entertained. There is also a repetition of "bones" in line seven. This repetition reflects the eagerness of the sound when the dog is gnawing on the juicy bone.
In the poem, leading into the second stanza, Reeves analyses the sea on a stormy night and the delirious nature of the hungry dog when he is "shaking his wet sides over the cliffs." The image of waves crashing against a cliff is surprisingly similar to the image of a dog splashing around in a pool. The cliffs being the walls of the pool, the water being the sea and the dog the wind.
In the last stanza, Reeves connects the beautiful, tranquil sea to the calm attitude of a happy and no longer hungry dog. "Quiet days in May or June”, shows that the sea is serene and resembles a content, sleepy dog. "His head between his paws, He lies on the sandy shores, so quiet, so quiet. He scarcely snores" These last three lines of this poem show how calm they can be. It creates a large contrast between the previous conditions that they were in.
Reeves has effectively divided the poem "The Sea" into 3 stanzas. Each stanza shows a different aspect of one of nature’s wonders, the sea and a new aspect of the dog's nature.
In the last lines, lines 19-20, Reeves uses