“Sea Fever” contains multiple instances of figurative language, particularly personification. Students can deepen their understanding of the poem by locating examples of figurative language and analyzing their effect on the poem. For each example of figurative language students locate, have them create a storyboard square depicting the intended meaning. Then, below the square, ask students to explain how that figurative language increases their understanding of the poem. For example, the figurative language might reveal the speaker’s relationship with the sea more clearly, it might contribute to the tone of the poem, or it might illustrate the setting.
Calling the surface of the water a "face" suggests that the sailor has a personal relationship with the sea. Just as we can tell a person's emotions by looking at their face, the sailor can read the mood of the sea by looking at it.
The tide is personified when it seems to call out to the sailor. This reinforces the idea that the sea has a mind and emotions of its own. It also suggests a kind of hypnotic power that the sea has over the sailor. To a certain degree, the sailor feels almost forced to go to sea.
The wind, like the sea, comes alive in this poem. It too is personified when it is said to be singing. The word "song" suggests a beautiful and melodious sound, emphasizing the sailor's positive experience of the sea.
Grade Level 6-12
Difficulty Level 4 (Difficult / Complex)
Type of Assignment Individual or Partner
Type of Activity: Figurative LanguageCommon Core Standards
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Create a storyboard that illustrates figurative language in "Sea Fever".
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Examples of Figurative Language
There are three examples of figurative language in the description boxes.
There are two correct examples of figurative language in the description boxes.
Only one of the examples of figurative language is correct.
Types of Figurative Language
All three examples are correctly identified as simile, metaphor, hyperbole, or personification (or other).
Two examples of figurative language are correctly identified as simile, metaphor, hyperbole, or personification (or other).
Only one example of figurative language is correctly identified as simile, metaphor, hyperbole, or personification (or other).
Illustrations show attention to the details of the story and demonstrate connection to the figurative language.
Illustrations demonstrate connection to the figurative language.
Illustrations do not make sense with the examples chosen.
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