Walking Two Moons
Longfellow Poem


The Tide Rises, the Tide Falls;

The tide rises, the tide falls,

The twilight darkens, the curlew calls,

Along the sea-sands damp and brown,

And the tide rises, the tide falls.

Darkness settles on roofs and walls,

But the sea, the sea in the darkness calls,

The little waves, with their soft, white hands,

Efface the footprints in the sands,

And the tide rises, the tide falls.

The morning breaks; the steeds in their stalls

Stamp and neigh, as the hostler calls,

The day returns, but nevermore

Returns the traveler to the shore,

And the tide rises, the tide falls.


  1. Describe your personal reaction to this poem? What does it say to you?
  2. Form your literature circles and reflect, discuss, and document your collective responses to the following questions. (Each member should keep a copy of the responses on a sheet of notebook paper so it can be placed in your individual portfolios.)
    • Why does this poem disturb Sal so much? ;
    • How was Sal's mother a "traveler"? ;
    • What is "the shore"? ;
    • Why the repetition of the phrase, "The tide rises, the tide falls"?m ;
    • How is Sal a "traveler"? What is she looking for?