Poem Analysis

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Keats’s “When I Have Fears” and Longfellow’s “Mezzo Cammin” present contemplative speakers that reflect on the subject on the inevitability of their deaths and whether their lives have been fully fulfilled. Both poets display similar structure and utilize similes and metaphors to represent their lives in order to explore their views on their deaths; however, their attitudes towards the subject differ significantly.
These first person poems explore the subject of death on a figurative level by using metaphors and similes to express their fears or regrets. Through this figurative device, both authors enhance a fear that parallels: dying without fulfilling their poetic capabilities. Such disdain for this fear can be seen through Keats’s expression that his life may cease “before my pen has glean’d my teeming brain, / Before high-piled books, in charactery, / Hold like rich garners in the full ripen’d grain.” (3-5) Similarly, Longfellow states his fear of having “the years slip from me and have not fulfilled / The aspirations of my young, to build / Some tower of song with lofty parape...

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