In 1889, the British poet Alfred Lord Tennyson wrote the poem “Crossing the Bar.” Widely regarded as one of the most beloved poets of the Victorian era, Tennyson was born in Lincolnshire, England, in 1809 and held the title of Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom from 1850 until he died in 1892.
The poem “Crossing the Bar” is considered a quintessential work of Tennyson’s and could fall under one of the best funeral poems for grandad. Besides this, the poem portrays the end of life as a journey using the metaphor of a ship crossing a sandbar and venturing into the open sea. The imagery of the setting sun and the incoming tide conveys a serene and effortless transition from life to death.
The poem has been used at the funeral or memorial service of notable individuals such as former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, whose 1965 funeral featured a recording of the poem. American actor James Gandolfini had the poem read at his memorial service in 2013.
Crossing the Bar
The poem’s popularity lies in its simplicity and ability to capture the universal mortality experience. In the final stanza, the speaker desires to “meet my Pilot face to face” and “see the Pilot face to face,” which evokes a powerful emotional resonance. As a result, the poem has become one of the best funeral poems for grandad, and a favourite among those seeking comfort and solace in the face of death.
“Crossing the bar” a Poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson
And one clear call for me! And may there be no moaning of the bar, When I put out to sea, But such a tide as moving seems asleep, Too full for sound and foam, When that which drew from out the boundless deep Turns again home. Twilight and evening bell, And after that the dark! And may there be no sadness of farewell, When I embark; For tho' from out our bourne of Time and Place The flood may bear me far, I hope to see my Pilot face to face When I have crost the bar.
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