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Sea Rose

Sea Rose


by H.D.

Stanza 3 Summary

Get out the microscope, because we’re going through this poem line-by-line.

Lines 9-13

Stunted, with small leaf,
you are flung on the sand,
you are lifted
in the crisp sand
that drives in the wind.

  • Did you notice how the speaker uses passive tense constructions to describe the rose? (Passive tense constructions are any conjugations of the verb "to be." Here, it comes in the form of "you are.")
  • If you've ever had a language arts teacher yell at you about using passive constructions, you know why they're a problem: they're passive. In other words, they don't suggest that the rose is doing any work on its own.
  • Our speaker reinforces this by using passive constructions – the "you are" we mentioned – twice in two lines, as the first words of both lines 10 and 11.
  • Come to think of it, this is a description of super-passivity. The rose is tossed around by the sand…which is tossed around by the wind. (And although our speaker doesn't mention it, the wind is probably produced by air being pushed around by the landmasses it's just reached.)
  • In other words, it's a pretty aggressive world out there. Just about everything is pushed around by larger forces.

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