A Life On The Ocean Wave Summary & Questions & Answers

Hi Everyone!! This article will share A Life On The Ocean Wave Summary & Questions & Answers.

This poem is written by Epes Sargent. In this poem, the speaker dislikes life on land and glorifies the careless, unbounded existence of the men who live on ships. As free as a seabird, the sailor points his ship toward the sea and leaves the land behind. Storms will come upon him, but the sailor’s stout spirit is ready for all events. The lines of the poem convey the swing and motion of the great ocean.

In my previous posts, I have shared the questions and answers of The Day The Viceroy Came, The Leopard, Olive Ridley Sea Turtle and The Footsteps Die Out Forever so, you can check these posts as well.

A Life On The Ocean Wave Summary & Questions & Answers

Word Galaxy

  • Deep – (literary) the sea
  • Rave – to move in an enthusiastic way
  • Revels – noisy and energetic celebrations
  • Pine – to want or miss something very much
  • Brine – sea water
  • Tempest – (literary) a violent storm
  • Swift-gliding craft – fast-moving ship
  • Gale – an extremely strong wind
  • Abaft – (technical) in or behind the stern (the back end) of the ship

A Life On The Ocean Wave Summary

The poem talks about a sailor’s longing for the sea. He pines for the raging waters of the ocean where winds rage freely and noisily. Land does not interest him and he feels like a caged eagle that is unable to soar into the skies. He longs for the spray of sea water and the stormy winds.

As he stands on the deck of his fast-sailing ship, he feels the burst of wind behind the ship as it moves into the vast expanse of water that he calls home.

As the ship moves away, land vanishes from sight and he is surrounded by sea all around. He sees the clouds moving in threateningly, but he challenges these heavily laden clouds to open up because he knows his ship and crew are strong enough to hold against any storm.

The poem ends with the speaker in a buoyant and cheerful mood, as he now stands where he belongs – on the ocean wave.

A Life On The Ocean Wave Questions & Answers

Question 1: Where is the speaker? What does he long for?

Answer: The speaker is in a city. He longs to be out at sea and lead the careless, unbounded existence of the men who live on ocean-ships.

Question 2: How does the speaker describe the sea?

Answer: The speaker describes the sea waters as rolling and ever-changing. The wind constantly affects the sea waters and gives rise to waves. The ever-changing nature of the sea and its vast expanse makes it exciting to the speaker.

Question 3: What does the speaker compare the ship to? Why?

Answer: The speaker compares the ship to a free ocean-bird. This is because the ship is as swift and as free to explore the sea as an ocean-bird.

Question 4: Why is the speaker not worried about the storm?

Answer: The speaker is not worried of the storm because the ship is strongly built and can withstand a storm. The crew is also brave and determined to face the storm bravely.

Question 5: What do the other sailors have in common with the speaker?

Answer: The other sailors love the sea and the freedom it offers as much as the speaker does. They are also as courageous as the speaker and are as ready to face the challenges of the sea as the speaker is.

Question 6: Read the lines and answer the questions:

1. Like an eagle caged, I pine
On this dull, unchanging shore:
Oh! give me the flashing brine,
The spray and the tempest’s roar!

(a) What does the speaker desire?

Answer: The speaker desires an exciting life on the sea.

(b) What does he compare himself to?

Answer: He compares himself to a caged eagle. An eagle is meant to be soaring regally in the sky and not meant to be caged; similarly, the speaker feels that he is meant to explore the expanse of the sea and he is not suited to life on land.

(c) How does he describe the land?

Answer: He describes the land as dull and unchanging.

2. Once more on the deck I stand
Of my own swift-gliding craft:
Set sail! Farewell to the land!

(a) Where is the speaker?

Answer: The speaker is standing on the deck of his ship which is out at sea.

(b) How do you know that the speaker is happy here?

Answer: The speaker has expressed how unexciting he finds the land. He says that the sea makes him feel free as a bird and therefore it is easy to understand that he is happier and more excited to be out at sea.

(c) How do these lines convey the speaker’s excitement?

Answer: The lines convey the eagerness with which the speaker sets out with his ship. He loves his swift ship and is happy to be bidding farewell to life on land.

So, this was A Life On The Ocean Wave Summary & Questions & Answers.

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