Life as We Know It

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Life as We Know It

Life As We Know It

''A Psalm of Life'' by Henry Waldsworth Longfellow

Literary Criticism: With the publishing of "A Psalm of Life", many critics came forth and called it "the slack of commonplace' and an "'inferior poem'''(Littlefield 1 of 4). However, these criticisms do not explain why this poem is the most widely read and most often "quoted of Longfellow's early poems" (Littlefield). Memorable lines are considered "bits of wisdom" which are treasures of popular sayings. One example is "Life is real" or "let the dead bury its dead" (Litlefield 2 of 4). These phrases are somewhat changed to more modern versions. "A Psalm of Life" is Longfellows denial that life is "an emmpty dream" and is an affirmation of life's reality" ( Littlefield 2 of 4). His phrases coincide with Benjamin Franklin's aphorisms in Poor Richard's Almanac that wasting time is synonymous to dwindling away life and its greatest treasures. On the other hand, Longefellow has no public motive in writing "A Psalm of Life", where Franklin wants public recognition (Littlefield 3 of 4).

Author Notes: 1. A fireside poet from Boston, Massachusettes 2. Known as the children's poet 3. Used varied verse forms, especially the Italian Sonnet form

A body must live a life that believesa soul will continue to live.

Life is difficult and not easy.

Don't sit around and let the world pass you by.

Our "art" can live on long after we are gone.

Tomorrow is another day

Figurative Language:

Footprints on the sands of time,

Optimism of more awaiting after death



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