What is your first impression of the speaker in this poem? What is his life like? What does he believe in and hope for?

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englishteacher72 | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Assistant Educator

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My first impression of the speaker in the Anglo-Saxon poem, "The Seafarer", is that this person leads a lonely and isolated life on the sea.  His job is very cruel and very hard work.  The seafarer describes the icy, cold winters spent on the sea ("Fettered by cold were my feet/bound by frost in cold clasps"), and then takes us through the rest of the seasons.  This poem is a reflection of the man's life.  He has endured great loneliness and isolation.  He has worked under severe and terrible conditions.  There has been little happiness; however, he believes in God and hopes that he has earned a place in Heaven after he dies.  He says that a seafarer never has to worry about what the Lord will do to him because his faith has never wavered.  He closes the poem by giving thanks to God:

Let there be thanks to God

that he adored us,

the Father of Glory,

the Eternal Lord,

for all time.  Amen.

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