Beauty, only marker of time today is the

 Beauty, Tranquility, and having fun are all things that bring me back to a different time. A time that I spent above and under water every summer.

Being deep underwater can calm my soul, letting me enjoy the wonderful scenes that only can be found under the rippling waves of the sea.  The poetry that I have chosen to contrast and compare has a deeper meaning to me which does not meet the eye.  These poems speak to my heart bringing me back to a time long gone. The summers of past and bonding with my father. The summer we visited  the Florida keys is etched in my memory.       As the boat that my father and I are on leaves the dock, the sand is softly golden with just the right comforting warmth. The only marker of time today is the sun above, the moments savoured by the waves that wash the sands in white lace.

I placed one leg in as I normally do, pulling that one up without much strain. Then do so with the other leg, feeling the bottom of the boat start to grip onto my skin.  As the boat departs, I turn back and look at what used to be the tiny dock from which we had departed fairly recently, but only saw the tiny outline of land on the horizon..

My Father and I sit on the side of the boat, ready to take a dive into the ocean.      As we made our descent into the crystal blue water I knew this was to be a magnificent dive!  It”s vibrant colors shining at me, enticing me to take a closer look. Golden yellows, deep and dark blacks, and warm blues were all over the body of the ocean.       I closed my eyes for a moment, listening to the singsong rhyme by John Keats losing my thoughts to the ocean of serenity. I opened my eyes and exhaled once more  just taking in the evening and chatting with my father in our characteristic pattern, the laughs and the serious intermingling. After what felt like minutes, we decided we had better go back to the “normal” world. We made our slow, peaceful ascent up to the top just as we had gone down.

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I left all the tension I carried down when I took that dive into the sea. So that the current could carry it away, and I could forget my troubles. Instead of the troubled thoughts, my mind was now filled with all the sights and sounds of the dive.      We got back onto the boat; exhausted yet mesmerized in the conversations of what both of us encountered during the dive.

 The ocean, the water, the sea, is something that can take my mind off of anything and everything that might be wrong in my life or troubling me. Memories of everything one can meet up with under the rippling waves of the ocean, or the mirrored surfaces of lakes and springs always fill my head. Without which it would sometimes be filled with the dread and sorrow that sometimes comes with everyday life, at times.      In On The Sea, by John Keats, the first part of the sonnet  is abundantly onomatopoeic, the gentle mood of the sea being conveyed through soft flowing consonants and liquid vowel sounds – in phrases such as “eternal whisperings”, “shadowy sound” and “gentle temper”. Another notable sea-sound is transmitted by “Gluts” in line 3, the word depicting the sound of water not only filling the caverns but suggesting the noise as it does so. The repeated rhyme-scheme of the octet helps it capture the power, sounds and moods of the sea.

The octet consists of just two long sentences. Their length and rhythm has a wave-like effect.      The sounds of the sea have been persisting for what  seems forever and will continue to do so, linking it in Keats” mind with ancient mysteries. He attributes the changing tides to the Greek moon-goddess Hecate in l.4, whilst the sea”s “music” is attributed to the singing of sea-nymphs.       The last six (6) lines of the sonnet continues by focusing on human beings and the relief they can attain by allowing their tired eyes to “feast” on the sea”s vastness, as if it can placate their need for the sights and sounds of hectic, everyday life and allow them to find more meaningful experience in it.

    Keats sees both the eternal exhilaration of the sea and its link back to a Hellenistic past as an antidote to the stresses of modern living, which he captures with the onomatopoeia of “dinned with uproar rude”, its repeated “d” and “r” sounds capturing the harsh sound that is a constant on human ears.     Keats’ language conveys the sound of the sea to those who need their hearing refreshed and will be surprised by the healing effect of hearing waves pouring into a cavern”s mouth. Notice how this surprise is conveyed by the movement of the verse, the words “Until ye start” appearing as a sudden and abrupt phrase at the beginning of the final line.

In this sonnet the natural world is seen as providing food for the soul. As on that trip to the Florida Keys, for me, the ocean was the food for my soul.     The word “I” does not appear in the poem, hence making it less personal in tone than many of Keats” sonnets.

By not including “I” Keats does not allow his own feelings to come between the readers and the sea that he so eloquently describes.     The sea and shore are animated. The sound of the waves constitute “eternal whisperings” around “desolate” shores. The sea undergoes rapid changes of mood, sometimes capable of “gentle temper”. The winds are similarly animated through their association with the myth of Aeolus, god of the winds.

The effect of all this animation of the sea in and of itself  is to endow the sea and the elements with almost a personal force and increases the sense of power and mystery of the sea.     A very clear theme in this sonnet  is the power of nature – and its dynamic range. The sea is capable both of “mighty swell” and of leaving the “very smallest shell” undisturbed. It is this dimension which is a part of the mystery – and also part of the sea”s ability to strike awe and fear into human beings. Its” mood-swings are not predictable and the change between calm and storm can be rapid and devastating. The consistent mood changes of the sea are captured by dwelling on the contrast between its vast expanse and the “very smallest shell” which the sea can leave in place for days, if in the mood to do so.

Very often it is noticed in Keats writing his fascination by things which appear eternal and contrasts them with the fleeting affairs of mankind.     An additional theme noticed is that of the sea”s therapeutic effect on human beings. There is something so primal about the sounds of the sea that they have a rejuvenating effect on those who sit and actually listen to it. Taking me back to a part of my past which when thought about I could actually hear the sound of the sea.     When analyzing By the Sea by William Wordsworth it feels like he is describing his views of nature and his childhood as divine. This poem is thought to have originated from a real moment in Wordsworth’s life when he walked on the beach with his daughter, Caroline, he had not known for a decade.

This poem is very personal to Wordsworth”s life describing the time shortly before he was to marry Mary Hutchinson. He goes back to France to see Annette Vallon, his former mistress and their ten year old daughter, Caroline. He most likely would have married her ten years earlier barring the war between France and England which caused them to separate.

    The first two quatrains are linked in their rhyming patterns: abbaacca. They detail the beauty of the evening as the sun touches the sea. In the first quatrain this beauty is characterized  as spiritual: the silence of the moment captured in the simile comparing it to “a Nun/Breathless with adoration”. The perception of calmness and silence is transmitted through the sound of the quatrain.

In the second quatrain, the sound of the sea is connected  to the silence spoken of in the first quatrain. Once again a spiritual element is introduced as the “eternal motion” of the sea, with its everlasting “sound like thunder” is said to be the “mighty Being”.     The sestet is written as a deflection to his daughter, who seems to appear “untouched by solemn thought” at the sight of so much beauty. He assures her that her nature is “not therefore less divine”. In Wordsworth’s view, children are always in touch with nature, whereas adults have minimal exquisite moments of understanding it.     When Wordsworth begins with “It Is a Beauteous Evening, Calm and Free” he is setting the scene of the poem as a beautiful evening.

Continuing on to “the holy time is quiet as a Nun” referring to the Sunset as a sacred and holy time which is the tone in many poems written by Wordsworth. He compares the time of day to a holy nun adoring God and how time seems to stand still in this calmness. The image of a nun is indicative of how sacred the evening is.     When Wordsworth proclaims “the gentleness of heaven broods on the sea” he is showing the beauty of the evening suggesting that heaven has nested on the Sea meaning that heaven is hovering over the sea at this time. Perhaps Woodsworth is thinking that although the sun is going down it still provides the perfect warmth.

    One of the themes that is apparent in this poem is Wordsworth”s recognition of the calmness of the evening. He also likes the fact that it is free, a time of leisure. He compares sunset to worship. The image of the nun shows how cherished the evening is.

It is like a Temple, as it is later written in the poem. It is a time when heaven touches the earth. Like the sun meeting the earth. A father-daughter Relationship. The poem shows Wordsworth’s love for his daughter, Caroline.

His repetition of the word “dear” and praises her natural quality: “Thy nature is not therefore less divine” is a suggestion that in her innocent and natural state she is close to God. The Beauty of Nature Reveals God.     Wordsworth is of the belief that the sunset is so beautiful because heaven is present in the sky at this time. Wordsworth goes on to explain that the force behind the sea is a “mighty Being”, or that of God. Also that gazing at a sunset is the same as being present in the Temple to adore God.

Children are connected to Nature. Wordsworth states his child is no less divine than the sunset.     John Keats portrays  signifies the sea’s intriguing sounds and sights as eternity and timelessness. The sea’s mesmerizing and magical sounds can reach the most depressing-looking and God-forsaken shores.  Here, the poet compares the effect that the sea and its soothing and mesmerizing sounds and sights can have on a depressed, careworn or hassled individual living in a polluted city.  It also has a powerful, wild and untamed divine side to it which is signified by mighty waves as they travel towards countless shores.

    William Wordsworth does exactly what the title of the poem secretly hints to us that which it will entail. It describes a beautiful evening scene and yet this sonnet goes far beyond aesthetic pleasures, paralleling a simple walk along the beach with the religious power that Wordsworth feels in nature.     Both my father and I always felt the power of the sea and it’s magnetic and spiritual force. It is a force of nature and the memories we have that are tied to this force will bond us spiritually and physically for eternity.

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