Crossing the Bar Summary & Analysis by Alfred Lord Tennyson

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"Crossing the Bar" is a poem by the British Victorian poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson. The poem, written in 1889, is a metaphorical meditation on death, which sees the speaker comparing dying—or a certain way of dying—to gently crossing the sandbar between a coastal area and the wider sea/ocean. In essence, it is a poem that argues that death is in fact a kind of comfort, a point of view based on the speaker's religious faith in the afterlife. Accordingly, the speaker wants to die quietly and gently, without fear, reassured by the knowledge that what comes next is a meeting with God. "Crossing the Bar" was written shortly before Tennyson's own death, and is the poem that Tennyson wanted placed at the end of all future collections and editions of his poetry.

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