Why can't the poet say what is on his mind?
In Alfred Lord Tennyson's poem "Break, Break, Break," the speaker laments that he cannot cry out the thoughts inside of him as he addresses the sea in apostrophe. Ironically, though, his poem expresses the very thought that he says he cannot articulate.
In the first stanza, the speaker begins,
Break, break, break,On thy cold gray stones, O Sea!And I would that my tongue could utterThe thoughts that arise in me (1–4).
O, well for the fisherman's boy,That he shouts with his sister at play!O, well for the sailor lad,That he sings in his boat on the bay! (5–8)
And the stately ships go onTo their haven under the hill;But O for the touch of a vanish'd hand,And the sound of a voice that is still! (9–12)
Break, break, breakAt the foot of thy crags, O Sea!But the tender grace of a day that is deadWill never come back to me (13–16).