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Dover Beach

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by

Judy Huynh

on 21 January 2013

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Transcript of Dover Beach

Matthew Arnold Dover Beach Matthew Arnold: Matthew Arnold: Poetics Matthew Arnold: Dover Beach The sea is calm to-night.
The tide is full, the moon lies fair
Upon the straits; on the French coast the light
Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand;
Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.
Come to the window, sweet is the night-air!
* * *
Only, from the long line of spray
Where the sea meets the moon-blanched land,
Listen! you hear the grating roar
Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling,
At their return, up the high strand,
Begin, and cease, and then again begin,
With tremulous cadence slow, and bring
The eternal note of sadness in.

Sophocles long ago
Heard it on the Aegaean, and it brought
Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow
Of human misery; we
Find also in the sound a thought,
Hearing it by this distant northern sea. Dover Beach Dover Beach Notes A Brief Biography "Poetry is simply the most beautiful, impressive, and widely effective mode of saying things.” 24 December 1822, Laleham – 15 April 1888
British poet and cultural critic who worked as an inspector of schools.
Began his career as a poet at Rugby School.
He went on to study at Balliol College, Oxford University.
Later returned to Rugby as a teacher of classics.
When his reputation as a poet escalated, he became the Professor of Poetry at Oxford. The sea is calm to-night.
The tide is full, the moon lies fair
Upon the straits; on the French coast the light
Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand;
Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.
Come to the window, sweet is the night-air!
Only, from the long line of spray
Where the sea meets the moon-blanched land,
Listen! you hear the grating roar
Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling,
At their return, up the high strand,
Begin, and cease, and then again begin,
With tremulous cadence slow, and bring
The eternal note of sadness in. Sophocles long ago
Heard it on the Aegaean, and it brought
Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow
Of human misery; we
Find also in the sound a thought,
Hearing it by this distant northern sea. The Sea of Faith
Was once, too, at the full, and round earth's shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled.
But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
Retreating, to the breath
Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world. Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night. A nineteenth-century Victorian poet.

Some recognize Arnold as the bridge between Romanticism and Modernism. His symbolic landscapes reflected Romanticism while his skeptical and pessimistic perspective mirrored Modernism.

The mood of Arnold’s poetry tends to be of plaintive reflection, and he is subdued when it comes to expressing emotion.

During the forties and fifties, the theme of a loss of faith became consistent.

Poetry characterized many Victorian beliefs pertaining to religious faith and morality. The Sea of Faith
Was once, too, at the full, and round earth's shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled.
But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
Retreating, to the breath
Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world.


Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night. Judy Huynh Short, lyric poem. Has rhymes, but no rhyme scheme. Melancholic, hopeless, tone. His images are auditory images rather than visual images. Ex. "But now I only hear/ Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar" (stanza 3). Uses the motion of the sea as a metaphor for faith in God. Sophocles was a 5th century Greek playwright. Theme Due to the changes in the world, people are losing their faith in God and the only thing that can fill the void that faith once filled is loyalty, comfort, and ultimately, love. (at least that's what it seems like to me)
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