What is the deeper meaning of the poem? (as in what are the literary devices, attiude, shifts and theme)Oh! Hush thee, my baby, the night is behind us,  And black are the waters that sparkled so...

What is the deeper meaning of the poem? (as in what are the literary devices, attiude, shifts and theme)

Oh! Hush thee, my baby, the night is behind us,
  And black are the waters that sparkled so green.
The moon, o’er the combers, looks downward to find us,
  At rest in the hollows that rustle between.

Where billow meets billow, then soft be thy pillow,
  Oh weary wee flipperling, curl at thy ease!
The storm shall not wake thee, nor shark overtake thee,
  Asleep in the arms of the slow swinging seas!

Asked on by jmz1997

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katehackett's profile pic

katehackett | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted on

The title of poetry is extremely important and it's your first clue: "Seal Lullaby", by Kipling.

 

This is a lullaby, of course. It's a gentle poem and read aloud, the beat rocks back and forth -- echoing the waves (and black are the waters...) or a parent rocking a child.

 

In addition to rhythm, he uses alliteration (weary wee, storm shall, asleep in the arms, swinging seas) to form a gentle tone. S's are soft, sleepy and simple. Kipling also uses an ABAB rhyme scheme in the first stanza, ABBB in the second. The shift generally means he wants you to pay attention -- and with all that alliteration in the second stanza, something important is happening! He's reassuring the baby that no harm will come to it.

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