On the Sea

  • Plot: “On the Sea” is a lyrical poem that captures the serene tranquillity, ethereal beauty, and mesmerising effect of the ocean while also alluding to its unpredictability.
  • Structure & Language Techniques: Keats utilises lush, evocative language and poetic devices such as personification and alliteration, structured in an English sonnet form to describe the sea with a sense of romantic awe and reverence.
  • Themes & Linking Poems: Major themes include the power of nature, escape, and mortality; other Keats’ poems with similar themes include “Ode to a Nightingale” and “To Autumn”.
  • Key Quotes: Notable lines include “It keeps eternal whisperings around”, indicative of the ongoing and timeless murmur of the sea, and “the winds that will be howling”, an allusion to the sea’s unpredictable and tempestuous nature.
  • Poet & Context: John Keats, a key figure in the Romantic movement during the 19th-century, wrote “On the Sea” reflecting his own fascination with nature’s beauty and capriciousness, often seen as an escape from human suffering and mortality.