Summary of “The Sea”

The Sea
Book Name : Blossom English Textbook For Class VIII Second Language
Subject : English
Class : 8th (Madhyamik/WB)
Publisher : Prof. Nabanita Chatterjee
Chapter Name : The Sea (6th chapter)

About the Author

James Reeves (1909-1978) was a prominent British author, renowned for his poetry, plays, and contributions to children’s literature. He authored anthologies for both adult and young readers, in addition to his work as a literary critic and broadcaster, leaving a lasting impact on the world of literature and children’s storytelling.

(50 words)

Introduction to the Poem

In the poem, “The Sea,” the sea is personified as a voracious and powerful dog, reflecting the untamed and relentless nature of the ocean. The poem vividly captures the sea’s ceaseless, rhythmic movements, its hunger for stones and bones, and its wild, untamed spirit during stormy nights, contrasting it with the calm serenity of quieter days in May or June.

(60 words)

Summary of the Poem

The sea is like a giant, grey dog. Sometimes it plays on the beach all day, gently lapping at the shore. Other times, it is angry and wild, howling and crashing against the cliffs. But on quiet days, it lies on the sand, resting its head on its paws.

The poet compares the sea to a dog to show its different moods. The sea can be calm and playful, or it can be rough and dangerous. But even when it is angry, the sea is still a beautiful and powerful force of nature.

The poem teaches us that the sea is a complex and ever-changing natural wonder. It is important to respect the sea and to be aware of its potential dangers. But we can also appreciate the sea’s beauty and power.

(130 words)

Explanation of the poem stanza-wise

The Sea

Stanza 1

The sea is a hungry dog, Giant and grey. He rolls on the beach all day. With his clashing teeth and shaggy jaws Hour upon hour he gnaws The rumbling, tumbling stones, And Bones, bones, bones!’ The giant sea dog moans, Licking his greasy paws.

Explanation The first stanza describes the sea as a hungry and massive dog with grey fur. It rolls along the beach all day, gnawing at stones and bones with its clashing teeth and shaggy jaws. The sea dog is portrayed as a relentless and voracious creature, moaning and licking its paws.

Stanza 2

And when the night wind roars And the moon rocks in the stormy clout, He bounds to his feet and snuffs and sniffs, Shaking his wet sides over the cliffs, And howls and hollos long and loud.

Explanation In the second stanza, the poem shifts to describe the sea’s behaviour during stormy nights. When the night wind is roaring and the moon is obscured by clouds, the sea dog becomes agitated. It stands on its feet, sniffs the air, shakes its wet fur over the cliffs, and howls loudly.

Stanza 3

But on quiet days in May or June, When even the grass on the Play no more their reedy tune, With his head between his paws He lies on the sandy shores, So quiet, so quiet, he scarcely snores.

Explanation The third stanza contrasts the sea’s wild nature during storms with its calm demeanour on quiet days in May or June. During these peaceful times, even the grass on the beach no longer produces a reedy sound. The sea dog lies on the sandy shores with its head between its paws, appearing peaceful and almost asleep.

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