Do most poets see the Ocean as male or female?

We have been discussing the poetic gender of the Ocean. Do you see it as personifying male or female aspects? Is the Ocean mother or lover? Life-giver or life-taker? Can you explain why you feel this way?

Update: are speaking of linguistic gender. In poetry, you can't separate the ocean from its tides.

Update 2:

Irish: As to stranger--don't you have it the wrong way 'round?

Update 3:

Irish: As to stranger--don't you have it the wrong way 'round?

26 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    I'd say it's the fusion of both. Yin and Yang. The Ocean and its masses of salt and water has what we could call "male" attributes when it comes to Dynamic. Force. Challenge. In its depths, hidden, there lie its "female' qualities. Gentle currents. Peace. Silence. Shimmering Perls. I don't recall having read poetry that has given gender to the Ocean on the contrary to it's vessels that always seem to carry female names.

    Source(s): First part: "Ulyssee" the second Epos of Homer. Second part: Anyone who dives might have a similar ( I am being rather subjective here ) notion?
  • 1 decade ago

    So much of the Ocean is associated with female. There are the sirens, the fact that the tides are controlled by the moon, also a poetic female entity. I'm not certain which place Ocean holds in my poetic mind. Most often when I am near her or thinking of her there is a peace within me. I don't feel this peace around male entities, so for me, in a poetic and literal sense, the Ocean is a female.

    She is a giver of life, a thing of great beauty and awesome power. She also can take life and leave a land barren in her wake, also a power of women. Without women, there is no birth, therefore no life.

  • 1 decade ago

    This another question is going to keep me awake tonight. I do not think I see the ocean as male or female, life-giver or life-taker. It seems too big to be defined or circumscribed. It exerts a pull upon me, and I even know of a secret cave that I go to some nights just to watch it. However, I do so in a condition of complete acceptance. I will ask it next time I go.

    Lol Intru. I will be able to sleep tonight after all :)

  • 1 decade ago

    I personally dont give it a gender per se, but I think depends on a lot of aspects. What gender is the author, what are they writing about, as well as the general mood of the poem. I am male, if I were writing about my wife coming back to me after a long trip and I am happy about this I would probably give the ocean a male gender, however if I was unhappy about this because I know she did me wrong while away i would give the ocean a female gender. but that is just me.

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  • Danial
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    I've always thought of the Oceans as a male. Ocean is a life taker, in the direct sense, and its a life giver in indirect sense ( provides food etc). Its a lover whose changeable mood and unpredictable acts are acceptable, due to its handsomeness and might, even in its high state of anger and furry. Although the Ocean has its soft spots, like any soft hearted male, but can hardly be regarded as a mother.

    More over, as in many inland towns we can do without the Ocean, unlike the Sun for example, which I see as a female whose presence is necessary, it makes me worm, even burn the hell out of my skin, or leave me burn in the cold space of its absence.

  • 1 decade ago

    The Mother Ocean is all you mentioned and more. Try describing her personality on any given day at any time using only One word. Game I used to play here in Myrtle Beach, SC when I spent lots of time on the beach.

    Definitely She, Goddess Sea

    Moon motivated, another She

    *where the hayull did that come from* (I'll have another of those, please)

    Blessed with stallions in the surf one moony night. Incredible.

    *time to sit down and shut up with a curtsie to the room*

  • 1 decade ago

    Always Mother Ocean, the cradle and the life giver. Women, like Mother Ocean are ruled by the Moon with our monthly lunar cycles.

    Source(s): A Pisces....
  • Dondi
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    I could have sworn I answered this, but maybe I hit the wrong button. I have no problem seeing the ocean as female, for it has alure that is normally reserved for females. I also have no problem viewing it as male, since it contains power normally associated with males. I suppose it just depends on the context in which it is written.

  • 1 decade ago


    The way it sustains the life of all living things, like a mother would, it gives it a maternal nature. The calming, soothing caresses of the waves on the shore, like a mother's gentle embrace, and the peaceful mist that exists in the air, the gentle wisps of wind, calmly gracing your skin and ears, like the advice from a mothers lips.

  • Fr. Al
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    The ocean is the source and bed of life, she receives and envelops, hugs the shores, rages against the rocks. Life-giver, life-taker alike, she holds those she receives in death, like the Pieta or Shakespeare's rose. She is mother and lover, jealous at times, fickle at others in her depths and currents. I have seen her beauty, felt her power, and known her serene.

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