What is the tone of "The Sea" by James Reeves?

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beateach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The tone of “The Sea” by James Reeves takes the reader through a number of moods associated with the changing sea. The poem begins during the day with an ominous tone as the poet creates the mood with a metaphor that compares the raging sea to a hungry dog “with his clashing teeth and shaggy jaws.” The tone of the poem expresses the ferocity of the sea as it repeatedly dashes the shore in the way that a hungry dog would pounce upon its food, never quite satisfied. In the second stanza as the night moves in, the tone remains ominous describing the dog as howling repeatedly. In the final stanza, the tone becomes more peaceful and serene as the dog quiets and the sea subsides on a late spring day. Reeves describes the dog as resting quietly, peacefully on the beach. Therefore, the tone of the poem is created by the metaphoric actions of the dog.

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