Holmes and Longfellow

1. What metaphors does Holmes use to describe the ship in stanzas one and two of “Old Ironsides”? In the first stanza, he speaks of a meteor of the ocean air, which I assume compares the boat to a great and speedy force. In the second stanza, he says that the ship is the “eagle of the sea”, which compares it to the national bird and shows it’s strength and dignity. 2. In 1830, the 44-gun American warship Constitution, the inspiration for “Old Ironsides,” was scheduled to be scrapped – that is, stripped of everything valuable or reasonable.
What proposal is put forth by Holmes, in the last stanza of his poem? It would be better for her to be put to sea and sunk. 3. What do you think Holmes wants the ship to symbolize? The ship symbolizes the strength, dignity, and pride of a nation. 4. The term, “Harpies,” in line 15 of “Old Ironsides” is an allusion to predatory flying creatures in Greek mythology, which have bodies of vultures and heads of women. The name meant “snatchers” or “robbers. ” Why do you think that Holmes uses this allusion in his poem?
Harpies would lure ships and men to their deaths and scavenge the ship, just as the people who are assigned to strip the boat. 5. In Longfellow’s “The Tide Rises, The Tide Falls,” how does the title foreshadow the fact the traveler will not return? The rising and falling of the tide shows a constant cycle of coming and going, just as the traveler will. 6. Do you think Longfellow’s poem is about one specific traveler, or could it apply to all in general? Explain your answer. It applies to all because all travelers go through thw hardships of coming and going. . Personification is a figure of speech in which an object or animal is given human feelings, thoughts, or attitudes. Cite an example of Longfellow’s use of personification in “The Tide Rises, The Tide Falls. ” “The twilight darkens, curlew calls” 8. How does the division into stanzas reflect the passage of time in the poem? Example: Stanza One presents twilight darkening into night. What do stanzas two and three represent? Stanza two represents heavy darkness, and stanza three represents daybreak.


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