Discuss how the poet represents nature in the poem "The Eagle".

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Let's look at this short poem of only six lines:

He clasps the crag with crooked hands; 
Close to the sun in lonely lands, 
Ring'd with the azure world, he stands. 
The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls; 
He watches from his mountain walls, 
And like a thunderbolt he falls.
The poem focuses entirely on the natural world, never mentioning a human being. In it, Tennyson uses images to help us visualize the eagle, the central image in the poem. Tennyson uses personification to help us identify with the eagle. Instead of saying he has claws, he says the eagle clasps the crag (rock) with "hands." This is all the more striking, as it would complete the line's alliteration to say claws. Alliteration is using the same first consonant repeatedly in a line: in this opening line, Tennyson already has "clasps," "crag," and "crooked," so avoiding claws adds emphasis to the personification. It also allows all three last words of the three lines in the stanza to rhyme, as do the last words in the second stanza.
Tennyson provides other images of the natural world. "Wrinkled sea" is a poetic way of saying the sea is wavy or churning, waves do look like wrinkles as they ripple on the surface of the water, heading for shore. He also mentions that the eagle is surrounded by "the azure world." Azure means blue, so we can imagine the eagle high up on a rocky mountain crag, framed by the blue sky with the churning sea below him.  
The last line conveys a sense of motion as the eagle falls quickly toward the water, perhaps swooping to catch prey. 

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