The Seafarer by Bruce Meyer

The Seafarer

The Seafarer is a collection of poetry by Canadian author Bruce Meyer. Meyer is director of the creative writing program at the University of Toronto and teaches at several Canadian universities. In his collection, he argues that "The Seafarer" depicts a harsh, lonely, and fallen world. The seafarer's plight is an allegory of the human condition, but the seafarer is not entirely sympathetic to his protagonist.


The poet's remark "the life of a seafarer is a paradox" can be applied to the experience of life as a seafarer. While the seafarer's position at sea is undoubtedly one of loneliness and exile, it also represents an equivocal position in life. It reflects the contradictions, sadness, and resignation that accompany human life. The seafarer is a symbol of the Christian contemptu mundi, as well as existentialist angst.


"The Seafarer" is a classic poem about exile. In it, a narrator experiences internal turmoil as he tries to make it through the years on the high seas. The poem's language is descriptive of the physical hardships and mental anguish that the narrator experiences. This poem is especially resonant today because of its importance in contemporary culture.


Allusions to the seafarer are found throughout the poem. The speaker describes the changing weather and seeking shelter from foreigners. The Seafarer is far removed from the values of his home, but he is not able to explain why he wanders. The poem makes reference to the conditions of exile as a metaphor for human experience. As such, the Seafarer is an allegory of a fallen world.


The tone of the seafarer is a characteristic of literature that reflects the author's attitude toward the theme and subject of the piece. In this poem, the narrator is saddened by the circumstances of his life, including the hardships of seafaring. The tone echoes the sentiment of existentialists and Christian comtemptu Mundi. While the speaker evokes sadness and resignation, his response is somewhere in between. The great disparity between the heroic past and the current world is perhaps the most significant source of sadness and despair for the Seafarer. The ancient Germanic peoples are the survivors of a great tribe migration that ended the Western Roman Empire.


This poem explores the relationship between the human soul and the sea. The speaker lists earthly human virtues, emphasized that these qualities would fade in the face of Fate. One such person is blessed with all the virtues, yet he experiences anxiety at the onset of his journey at sea. This allegorical reading of the poem shows that a person must learn to rely on the mercy of God while still fearing his judgment.

Allusions to nature

In 'Allusions to Nature for the Seafarer,' Ezra Pound explores the dual life of a seafarer: earthly and spiritual. The poem's meter and rhythm are indicative of the poetic form of the Old English language, which had an emphasis on rhyme and rhythm. Pound uses alliteration throughout the poem, and it is evident that the author wanted to convey a feeling of rhythm and rhyme.


The seafarer's elegiac tone establishes a theme of loneliness and the struggle to find a higher purpose in life. Though he never says why he sailed, he describes the immense suffering he endured and the long experiences he had in various ports. He never offers an explanation as to why he set out to sea, but instead relates intense concrete images of cold, anxiety, stormy waters, and rugged shorelines. He compares the adverse conditions to the physical body and to his spiritual sense of worth.

Deadline is approaching?

Wait no more. Let us write you an essay from scratch

Receive Paper In 3 Hours
Calculate the Price
275 words
First order 15%
Total Price:
$38.07 $38.07
Calculating ellipsis
Hire an expert
This discount is valid only for orders of new customer and with the total more than 25$
This sample could have been used by your fellow student... Get your own unique essay on any topic and submit it by the deadline.

Find Out the Cost of Your Paper

Get Price