The Romantic Period was a special time in writing history were the authors had a connection to nature and emphasized the importance of the imagination. Three of these poems are “A Psalm of Life” and “The Tide Rises, The Tide Falls” by Henry Longfellow and “The First Snowfall”, by James Lowell.
All three of these poems were written about death and the writers opinion of it. “The poems The Tide Rises, The Tide Falls” “The First Snowfall”, and “A Psalm of Life” may all be written about death but the authors have a different approach to it in all three of the poems.The first poem is “The Tide Rises, The Tide Falls”. In the poem views death as a never ending cycle. This can be seen in the repeated lines saying “And the tide rises, the tide falls” (Henry Longfellow 5). This is a metaphor stating life is like the tides with the never ending cycle of birth and death.
This poem also states that time erases peoples effects on the community. As seen in the lines “The little waves, with their soft, white hands./ Efface the footprints in the sands.” (Longfellow 10-11). This is a metaphor saying that over time the waves will come and erase the you effect on the community just as the waves erase the footprints on the beach. This poem also states that death is always creeping closer and closer.
This is seen in the line, “The twilight darkens, the curlew calls:” (Longfellow 2). This is also a metaphor stating that death is closing in on everyone just as the day eventually turns to night. In conclusion the “The Tide Rises, The Tide Falls” is a poem about the never ending cycle of death and birth.Henry Longfellow also wrote the poem “A Psalm of Life”. This poem is about the living life to the fullest. this can be seen in the line stating, “Let us, then, be up and doing” (Longfellow 33).
This line is stating that since we are living let us be doing something with the time that we have. “A Psalm of Life” also states that life is good. This can be seen in the line “Life is real! Life is earnest!” (Longfellow 5). This is stating that life is real and good so you should do something with it. This poem also tells us that our time here is short.
This is seen these lines:”Art is long, and Time is fleeting,and our hearts, though stout and brave,Still, like the muffled drums, are beatingFuneral marches to the grave.” (Longfellow 13-16)This is stating that the things that we do may last a long time, nevertheless we are still slowly dieing. Finally this poem is stating that life is real and short, so live it to the fullest.The third poem is the “The First Snowfall” by James Lowell. This poem is about the sorrow of losing a loved one. This is seen when he says, “That arched o’er our first great sorrow,/ When that mound was heaped so high.
” (James Lowell 27-28). This is stating that looking at the snow piling up reminded him of the time when he buried his daughter. This poem also tells us to keep on going even if things aren’t going good. This is seen in the lines stating, “The stiff rails softened to swan’s-down,/ and still fluttered down the snow.” (Lowell 11-12). The imagery used here is saying that even though the snow is on the swan it is not giving up and that snow continues to fall.
“The First Snowfall” also states that the sorrow slowly goes away. This is explained when he states, “I remember the gradual patience/ That fell from that cloud like snow/ Flake by flake, healing and hiding” (Lowell 29-31). This is stating that just as the snow slowly fell from the sky, the pain from losing his daughter slowly went away. “The First Snowfall” is about the sorrow of losing a loved and that the pain slowly goes away.In conclusion, the fireside poets had some helpful knowledge in these poems.
All three of these poems are about death and the effects they have on people. These poets explain some helpful things about death in these poems. Some of this includes that life goes on so don’t wallow in sorrow forever, life is short so live it to the fullest, and death is inevitable. If people follow this insightful knowledge then they would live a better, more fulfilling life.Work CitedLongfellow, Henry.
“A Psalm of Life.” Poetry Foundation. Poetry Foundation, 5 Jan 2014. Web.9 Jan 2014.;http://www.
poetryfoundation.org/poem/173910;.Longfellow, Henry. “The Tide Rises, The Tide Falls.” Poetry Foundation. Poetry Foundation, 5Jan 2014.
Web. 9 Jan 2014.;http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/173917;.
Lowell, James. “The First Snowfall.” poets.org. Academy of American Poets, 9 Mar 1997. Web.
9 Jan 2014.;http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/16633;.