Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry: Explained, SEA ROSE, by HILDA DOOLITTLE

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry: Explained

SEA ROSE, by             Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography


"Sea Rose" is a poem by Hilda Doolittle, also known as H.D., an American poet and novelist. It was first published in 1916.


"Sea Rose" is a short poem that describes a single sea rose growing in a rocky and barren landscape by the sea. The speaker of the poem observes the flower's beauty and resilience, despite its harsh surroundings. The poem is a tribute to the enduring power of nature, even in the most unlikely of places.

Poetic Elements:

  • Form: The poem consists of three stanzas, each with three lines. The lines are written in free verse, with no specific rhyme or meter.
  • Theme: The poem's theme is the resilience and beauty of nature.
  • Imagery: The poem uses vivid imagery to describe the sea rose and its surroundings. Examples include "salt-sown" rocks, "barren" soil, and the "cruel" sea.
  • Tone: The tone of the poem is contemplative and reverential, as the speaker reflects on the sea rose's beauty and tenacity.
  • Sound: The poem's sound is marked by alliteration, such as "salt-sown," "thorn-tree," and "cruel, hard." The repetition of the "s" and "h" sounds creates a sense of the sea's harshness and the flower's resilience.
  • Language: The language of the poem is simple and direct, with few ornamental flourishes. The speaker's language mirrors the starkness of the landscape and the flower's survival.
  • Structure: The poem's structure is simple and consistent, with each stanza consisting of three lines.
  • Symbolism: The sea rose is a symbol of the beauty and resilience of nature, even in the face of harsh conditions.
  • Emotion: The poem evokes a sense of awe and reverence for nature's enduring power.


"Sea Rose" is a short but powerful poem that celebrates the resilience and beauty of nature, as embodied in a single sea rose growing in a harsh and barren landscape. Through its vivid imagery and simple language, the poem captures the enduring power of nature to survive and thrive in the most unlikely of places.

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