The Tide Rises and The Tide Falls is a poem that is filled with symbolism. I think the tide represents the everyday life of people, which is continuously being repeated over and over. Also, the calling of sea in the darkness’ symbolizes the upcoming death. The author’s tone in this poem is very clear and not emotional, although the overall atmosphere is very sad and lonely. This poem uses mood to show that death in inevitable and it comes to everyone. The author also wishes to show that death is just another part of life and nature.
The poem talks about a traveler who walks down the beach towards town but he will never walk on the shore again and the tide washes away his footprints. When the author writes “The day returns, but nevermore returns the traveler to the shore, and the tide rises and the tide falls” he conveys that the traveler has died but the sun still rises and the tide still goes in and out. The mood of the poem is accepting and calm. Longfellow is accepting that he, along with everyone else, will die and that it’s just a part of nature. The theme of The Tide Rises and The Tide Falls is that life continues even though we go through many traumatic events.
In the last stanza, the traveler does not come back like before, the tide is still rising and falling just like before. It is continuing the action just like yesterday, the day before yesterday, and it will repeat in the future. Although people feel like they are going to die or not able to live like before, but when time passes, they live like they never experienced those painful emotions. I think this poem and this theme is sad because erasing from the memory is sad, even if the erased memory is about a painful thing. In the poem, time passes by as the tide rises and falls.
Eventually, the sky gets dark and a traveler goes to town. Darkness comes, the sea washes away the traveler’s footprints in the sand. The morning comes, and the traveler does not go back to the shore. The daily life of the sea continues even though the traveler will not be returning. The tide is probably showing that life continues as normal even though the traveler is not there; the tide is not going to stop just because someone isn’t there. The traveler could possibly represent the life of a person. Although we may leave footprints, over time they are washed