As Froth on the Face of the Deep

As Froth on the Face of the Deep

By Christina Rossetti

As froth on the face of the deep,
As foam on the crest of the sea,
As dreams at the waking of sleep,
As gourd of a day and a night,
As harvest that no man shall reap,
As vintage that never shall be,
Is hope if it cling not aright,
O my God, unto Thee.

Summary of As Froth on the Face of the Deep

  • Popularity of “As Froth on the Face of the Deep”: This beautiful but short poem “As Froth on the Face of the Deep” by Christian Rossetti shows her deep faith in God. The poem presents her views about everything in nature. She states that if hope does not emanate from God, it is not right. The popularity of the poem lies in the strong faith of the poet in God and hope’s emanation.
  • “As Froth on the Face of the Deep” As a Representative of Hope in God: The poet, who happens to be the speaker of the poem, states that hope is not like several things that are natural. For example, it is not a froth found in the depth of rivulets. It is not the foam found in the seas. It is not the dream of waking hours. Also, it is not a gourd that can be eaten during the daytime or at night. It is also not a harvest that nobody should be able to reap, and it is not vintage that nobody could find it. In fact, it is hoped that if it is not in God, then it is not good. She means that if somebody has hope and faith in God, nothing matters to him. However, in the case of vice versa, it is not hope.
  • Major Themes in “As Froth on the Face of the Deep”: Faith and hope in God and the transitoriness of the natural things are major themes of this poem “As Froth on the Face of the Deep.” Although the poet has presented several similes related to nature that hope is not like all these things, she is sure of the permanence of hope, but it is also not as permanent. Therefore, it is the hope that she has in God. However, her argument is based on the fact that everything has hope if it is not achieved, then it should be in God. In fact, her presupposition is that everything will be all right with the blessings of God.

Analysis of Literary Devices Used in As Froth on the Face of the Deep

Christina Rossetti is highly skillful in using literary devices in her pithy poetic output. Some of the major literary devices she has used in this poem are as follows.

  1. Anaphora: It is a literary device in which a word or phrase is repeated at the beginning of a verse. The poem shows “As…” used as an anaphora in several verses.
  2. Assonance: Assonance is the repetition of vowel sounds in the same line such as the sound of /a/ in “As dreams at the waking of sleep” and the sound of /o/ in “As froth on the face of the deep.”
  3. Consonance: Consonance is the repetition of consonant sounds in the same line such as the sound of /f/ in “As froth on the face of the deep,” and the sound of /d/ in “As gourd of a day and a night.”
  4. Imagery: Imagery is used to make readers perceive things involving their five senses. Christina Rossetti has used imagery in this poem such as “As foam on the crest of the sea”, “As harvest that no man shall reap” and “As gourd of a day and a night.”
  5. Simile: It is a literary device that presents a direct comparison of things. The poem shows the similes in the first six verses such as “As forth on the face of the deep” and “As dreams at the waking of sleep.”
  6. Symbolism: Symbolism is using symbols to signify ideas and qualities, giving them symbolic meanings that are different from the literal meanings. The poem shows symbols like false praise, realization, truthfulness, and hope.

Analysis of Poetic Devices Used in As Froth on the Face of the Deep

Poetic and literary devices are the same, but a few are used only in poetry. Here is an analysis of some of the poetic devices used in this poem.

  1. Diction and Tone: Diction means the type of language, and tone means the voice of the text. The poem shows simple and poetic diction, but the tone is reassuring and holy.
  2. Rhyme Scheme: The poem follows the ABACADCD rhyme scheme.
  3. Stanza: A stanza is a poetic form of some lines. This is a single-stanza poem having eight verses in total.

Quotes to be Used

The following lines are useful to quote to show hope in God.

As vintage that never shall be,
Is hope if it cling not aright,
O my God, unto Thee.

 

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