*The Tide Rises, The Tide Falls* by Henry

“The Tide Rises, The Tide Falls”
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
English III
C. Edge
“The Tide Rises, the Tide Falls”
iambic meter
• Meter is the pattern of syllables in a poem.
Some syllables are stressed, meaning you
emphasize them, and some are unstressed,
meaning you do not emphasize them.
• The pattern of stressed and unstressed
syllables is what makes a poem’s meter.
• A foot is a metrical unit of poetry made of at
least one stressed syllable and at least one
unstressed syllable.
• In “The Tide Rises, the Tide Falls,” each foot
contains one unstressed syllable followed by
one stressed syllable.
• This pattern is called iambic meter.
• Here is an example of iambic meter from
everyday speech:
I have to go to school today.
I hope I don’t forget my lunch.
• The underlined syllables in the above example
are stressed, and the others are unstressed. Do
you see the unstressed/stressed pattern?
• Most of the poem you are about to read follows
this same pattern.
– However, in the first line, Longfellow pairs two
stressed syllables together (The tide falls), which is
called a spondee.
annotating a poem
• An annotation is simply a note about a text.
Making notes about a poem while you read can
improve your understanding of the poem’s
structure and meaning.
• To annotate a poem, write down the meaning of
unfamiliar words and try to paraphrase difficult
lines, or re-state them in your own words.
• Write any questions or comments that you have.
• DIRECTIONS: Scan the meter of the following
passage from “The Tide Rises, the Tide Falls.”
Use symbols to identify all of the stressed ( ´ )
and unstressed ( ˘ ) syllables.
The tide rises, the tide falls,
The twilight darkens, the curlew calls;
Along the sea-sands damp and brown
The traveler hastens toward the town,
And the tide rises, the tide falls. (lines 1–5)
Petrarchan or Italian sonnet
Elements of a Sonnet Chart
• A sonnet is a fourteen-line poem written in
iambic pentameter.
– The Petrarchan, or Italian, sonnet consists of an
eight-line octave followed by a sestet.
– The octave introduces the poem’s subject and the
sestet responds to it.
“The Cross of Snow” is an example of a
Petrarchan Sonnet with a rhyme scheme of:
The Turn
• This is where the ideas shift or change in the
sonnet. In a Petrarchan Sonnet, this typically
happens in the shift from the octave to the
• Octave:
– About the saintly wife who has died.
• Sestet:
– About the cross of snow that is constantly seen on the
mountain and the cross (literal and figurative) that he
constantly wears on his chest (over his heart).
Thomas Moran, The Mountain of the
Holy Cross, 1875 7'x5' Oil
The Mountain of the Holy Cross began
as a myth and became a rumor. Then it
became a report, a photograph, and a
painting. In time it became a
destination for pilgrims and tourists.
Shortly after that it ceased to exist....
In the beginning Americans who heard
of, travelled to, and documented the
Mountain of the Holy Cross believed in
omens, signs and symbols. By the time
the sign collapsed and disappeared,
those beliefs too were eroded but not
lost. We still have the expedition
records, the memoirs, the photographs
and the paintings and can sense,
distantly, what our ancestors felt when
first glimpsing this strange vision that
could only be see from the east
covering a mountainside in the far
Analyzing Visuals
Mount of the Holy Cross
Thomas Moran
1. What details in the painting help draw the viewer’s
attention to the cross of snow?
2. What time of day do you think the artist is depicting
in the painting? Use details from the painting to
support your answer.
3. How does the artist show the very high elevation of
the cross of snow?
4. Discuss the details in the landscape you think would
make a trip to Mount of the Holy Cross difficult.
Mount of the Holy Cross Thomas Moran
The Cross of Snow Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
1. How is the painting connected to the selection?
2. Contrast the moods of the painting and the poem.
3. How is the cross in the painting similar to the
symbolic cross on Longfellow’s breast?
4. On a separate sheet of paper, discuss the way in
which the painter and the poet have each used the
symbol of the snowy cross. How has each one used
the symbol to inspire emotion? Use details from the
painting and poem to support your answer.
• What is the tone of the poem?
– sadness/unending grief
• How do we know?
• Content and diction
– The poem is about a wife who has died and the
pain he has felt for the past 18 years.
– Words: martyrdom, sleepless
• Inverting the natural word order of sentences
in order to create rhythm or rhyme in poetry.
• What examples of inversion can be found in
this poem?
• Why were these inversions used?