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A Psalm of Life: Poem Analysis

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Nicole Wallen

on 9 January 2012

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Transcript of A Psalm of Life: Poem Analysis

A Psalm of Life: Literary Analysis Conclusion Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Why do you think the
author wrote this coming
from a young man's
heart? Why do you think the author picked the title? What is the theme of the poem, and does it relate to your life ? In stanza 4, lines 3 and 4, how do you think this
statement reflects back
to the whole poem? 1.) Stanza Analysis In the first stanza, we believe that the author is saying that lifeis what you make it, but if your soul "slumbers," that might not be the case. 2.) In the second stanza, we think that the author is trying to say you don't just live to die. You can do with life what your souldestines you to do. 3.) In the third stanza, we think that the idea the author was going for was that we aren't destined to be sad, or happy, but if we just live in the now, it will get us further than seeing life as a whole. 4.) In the fourth stanza, we think that the author was trying to say that time goes by so fast in our lives, and that no matter how tough our hearts are, that everyone's life still comes to an end. 5.) 6.) In the sixth stanza, we thing our author was trying to tell us
to act now and not live in the past. To act now and only concern
ourselves with the future. To act on every whim, and to trust in God. 7.) In the seventh staza, we think that our author was trying to tell us that throughout history many
great men and women have left their mark and we can too. There is still pleny of room to make a
"footprint in the sands on time." 8.) It took us a long time to figure out stanza eight, but we eventually came to something, we believe our
author was trying to tell us that "a shipwrecked brother" is one who has maybe gone astray Longfellows
beliefs, has lived in the past and only the past and sat in self loathing. This "shipwrecked brother" is now
seeking help and he comes to the "shores of time" as earlier refernced in the poem. 9.) In stanza nine, we believe that Longfellow is telling us that we should be ready for any adventure and
not to take life seriously. To only go about things as "Will people remember me for this?". He also says to
"Learn to labour and to wait." what I think he is saying in this is that we need to learn to work hard, all for nothing because our reward comes soon in another life. Longfellow today is one of the most famous American poets.

One of his most famous pieces is "Paul Revieres Ride".

Had success overseas as well as in America.

Is known for the generally light hearted nature of his poems and sing song rhyme.
Why do you think the
author chose not to have
a consistent rhyme
scheme? By Nicole Wallen, and Crystal Whittenburg In the fifth stanza, it has a very powerful metaphor, "Still like muffled drums, are beating Funeral marches to the grave." We thought that this stanza meant we all have a time die and cannot control when. In conclusion, this poem had an optimistic view
about life. It may have occured after the death of his second wife and he was tired of living in the past. The poem encourages the readerto move on in life and make the best of it. Since it comes from a young man's heart, he may be regretting all the chances he didnt take when he was younger and reached out to the more youthful audience. Speaker of he poem: The heart of the young man / Longfellow to youth. Subject of the poem: The subject of the poem is living in your life to the fullest and not letting anything any sorrows get you down...total cliche. Tone:
The tone is encouraging, hopeful, optimistic, wanting you to get out there and improve your life. Figurative devices: metaphor- our hearts like muffled drums are beating.
figure of speech- for the soul is dead and slumbers. Example of figurative language: In stanza 4, lines 3-4, compares our hearts to muffled drums marching to our graves. This metaphor shows that even if you have a strong rhythm your life is always drumming to its end. Meter ? Rhythm ? Nope, and we believe that since this poem doesnt it shows the dissheveled ways of life adn how nothing is constant. Imagery : "life is a boat"- 8th stanza
"the world is a battlefield"- 5th stanza
"heart is a drum "- 4th stanza Group reaction to the poem ? We related to this poem quite a bit, and thought how the author author used imagery and figurative speech was really rad. We have gone through hard times in our life and have heard "live your life to the fullest" sucha as the poem is pretty much shouting to the reader. Since this poem comes from a young man's heart we feel like he was speaking directly to us. Poem's theme ? We thought the main theme of this poem was to just make your life the best it can be.
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