Henry Wadsworth Longfellow is one of the most-loved and well-known American poets in the world. His usually steady rhyme scheme and fluent melody appealed to his readers, fueling his popularity. Longfellow often wrote easy-to-understand poems with many different themes that appealed to his large audience and connected with them. Most of his poems had happy, cheerful themes, but in the latter stages of his life, his poems became darker and gloomier. The dark, death-filled, warlike moods in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poems “A Psalm of Life” and “The Arsenal at Springfield” indicate the personal tragedies he went through in his life, such as the losses of multiple family members.
Unlike writers such as Edgar Allen Poe, Longfellow’s poems were “overly optimistic and sentimental” (Kinsella 256). He stood out amongst any other writer of his time. While most authors wrote dark, gothic works and stories, Longfellow’s were happy, positive and encouraging due to his wonderful childhood. He was inspired by his hometown, Portland, the sea, poets like Sir Walter Scott and Samuel Rogers, literature and music were all inspirations to him (Arvin 8/9). These parts of his childhood along with the new, exciting ideas of Romanticism are what shaped Longfellow’s style of writing. This is what drew in his audience because his poems were relatable and were written from the heart. Even though Longfellow went through some hard times with the loss of two wives and suffering from vertigo and peritonitis, he never allowed these complications affect his writing or his calmness (Kunitz 5). His control over his mind and body helped create some of the most beloved p...
Teacher, Lover, Poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow is not dead. Certainly, he comes alive in every one of his pieces. Longfellow was never just an average person. He appreciated the arts ever since a young age and continued to attract towards them. He definitely led most other writers in the Romanticism Era.
The talented Henry Wadsworth Longfellow has written profound works of poetry including “The Tide Rises, the Tide Falls”, “A Psalm of Life”, “The Cross of Snow”. He was a fireside poet who wrote in the time period of Romanticism. This was a time period in which the writer's feeling were deeply portrayed in their writing. Longfellow uses his horrific past experiences as a guide to form his writing. He uses symbolism to portray his views on life and how it should be lived.
Robert Frost is considered by the casual reader to be a poet of nature like that of a Wordsworth. In a sense, his poetry is about nature, yet with strong underlying tones of the drama of man in nature. Frost himself stated, “I guess I’m not a nature poet,” “ I have only written two without a human being in them (138).” Marion Montgomery’s critical essay plays with the epitaph that Frost proposes for himself in The Lesson for Today: “I have a lovers quarrel with the world.” Montgomery says, that the lovers quarrel is Frost’s poetic subject, and states, “throughout his poetry there is evidence of this view of mans’ existence in the natural world (138). The essay examines how Frost’s attitude toward nature is one with armed and amicable truce and mutual respect interwoven with boundaries of the two principles, individual man and the forces of the world. But the boundaries are insisted upon. The critical essay examines how Frost’s direct addresses of nature are often how man is essentially different from objects and features of nature. Montgomery insists, “…his trees and animals, though he speaks to them, do no take on grave countenances (140).” The jest of Montgomery’s ideal is when Frost speaks directly to or directly of natural objects or creatures, “that ...
In ‘All the Pretty Horses’ Luis states ‘among men there was no such communion as among horses and the notion that men can be understood at all was probably an illusion’, by this he means the relationship man has with nature is totally unique, it is sacred; the relationship between men is a misapprehension. In some respects the reader may agree with the statement because it is true, man’s relationship with animals and nature is fairly simple compared to man’s relationship amongst each other which is far more complex due to conflict of opinion and other complications. John Grady Cole’s relationship with Alejandra faced much turmoil and complication, one of the biggest issues they faced was the fact Alejandra’s family condemned their relationship and forbid her to be with him. To a certain extent John’s romance with Alejandra mirrors Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet in respects to their forbidden love, however their story does not end in tragedy. Wordsworth shows nature to be more of a companion for man in ‘The Solitary Reaper’. The woman reaps the crops alone in the field singing with a voice so ‘thrilling’ it resonates ‘Long after it was heard no more’. Although she is lonely, she is wholly reliant upon the sustenance she receives and the relationship she has with nature. The poet proceeds to compare her to the Cuckoo and the Nightingale stating ‘No Nightingale did ever chaunt more welcome notes to weary bands’ being compared to birds with such beautiful song surely displays her oneness with nature. Unlike the ‘maiden’ Victor tries to control and dominate nature, this resentment could stem from the fact his mother died of the fever, making him go to extreme lengths in constructing this figure from different body parts to create a cre...
Langston Hughes and Kate Chopin use nature in several dimensions to demonstrate the powerful struggles and burdens of human life. Throughout Kate Chopin's The Awakening and several of Langston Hughes' poems, the sweeping imagery of the beauty and power of nature demonstrates the struggles the characters confront, and their eventual freedom from those struggles. Nature and freedom coexist, and the characters eventually learn to find freedom from the confines of society, oneself, and finally freedom within one's soul. The use of nature for this purpose brings the characters and speakers in Chopin's and Hughes' works to life, and the reader feels the life and freedom of those characters.
When humans and nature come together, they either coexist harmoniously because nature's inhabitants and humans share a mutual respect and understanding for each other, or they clash because humans attempt to control and force their ways of life on nature. The poems, "The Bull Moose" by Alden Nowlan, "The Panther" by Rainer Maria Rilke, "Walking the Dog" by Howard Nemerov, and "The Fish" by Elizabeth Bishop, describe what happens when humans and nature come together. I believe that when humans and nature come together they either clash and conflict because individuals destroy and attempt to control nature, which is a reflection of their powerful need to control themselves, or humans live peacefully with nature because not only do they admire and respect nature, but also they can see themselves in nature.
Poetic Element Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s “A Psalm of Life” is an encouraging poem in which Longfellow has utilized many different poetic elements including imagery, rhyme, metaphor, simile and others. The poem is very easy to understand and is engaging to the reader because of the images the poem invokes. Of all of the elements used, imagery is the most consistent and prevalent poetic element in the poem “A Psalm of Life”. Using imagery, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem describes a life not fully lived, how to live and what a life fully lived looks like.
“Look not mournfully into the past. It comes not back again. Wisely improve the present. It is thine. Go forth to meet the shadowy future, without fear, and with a manly heart.” This is a saying Longfellow read in Germany where his wife died. The words gave him hope for the future. It inspired him to want to write a series of psalms. The first one, “A Psalm of Life” written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, is an uplifting poem that compels us to feel hope for the future. After reading it the first time it had a powerful effect on me. Surprisingly, he wrote this poem few months after his first wife died. Longfellow took his wife’s death and interpreted it as a sign to look at life as fleeting and it passes quickly. I feel that Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, after his wife’s death, had an optimistic view on life in the poem, “A Psalm of Life”.