In the ballad “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” by Gordon Lightfoot, there are two main themes: loss, and environment. The poem tells a story of a great storm that kills 29 men aboard a ship while crossing Lake Superior. The first stanza states there is a legend that has been passed down through generations of the Chippewa nation that tells of a large ship crossing Lake Superior in November, but the wind created large waves that sank the ship. The poem focuses on the environment leading to the deaths of the crew including the wind and wave. The crew tried to endure the storm as “The wind in the wires made a tattle-tale sound/ And a wave broke over the railing/ In the face of a hurricane west wind” (17-18,24). The circumstances the crew had tried to survive was perilous, and the poem makes sure to emphasize the weather and the environment’s role in the destruction of the crew. Ultimately, the crew does not survive the storm, the eminent death apparent from the point when the waves came upon the ship, and the Captain found water coming into the boat. The death of all of the men in the crew was the imminent ending to this poem, and after the ship sank, “And all that remains is the faces and the names/ Of the wives and the sons and the daughters”(39-40). The loss is a major point of the poem. The suffering continues on in the families of the crewman. The loss of the ship and the men is an imminent factor apparent from the beginning of the poem. The loss of the crewmen is deeply mourned “In the maritime sailors’ cathedral/ The church bell chimed till it rang twenty-nine times/ For each man on the Edmund Fitzgerald” (50-52). This clear statement of mourning and death is the denotative theme of the story. The connotative theme of the story is that danger can happen at unexpected times.