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.
Life Not Fully Lived
The theme of “A Psalm of Life” is to motivate and encourage the reader to make the most of this life. The ...view middle of the document...
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow capitalized the words Future, Past and Present as if to give them a life of their own. The author uses these basic words that he makes powerful by giving them their own presence and by adding the exclamation points at the end of each line. The reader can feel the power of the words and visualize their own choices that prevent them from living life to the fullest.
A Life Fully Lived
Imagery is used in the poem initially to describe what people look like when they are not actively living and are simply allowing time to pass them by. Imagery is again used toward the end when the author writes “lives of great men all remind us – we can make our lives sublime”. This line causes the reader to visualize famous and influential men and women that have accomplished great things in their life. “A forlorn and shipwrecked brother, Seeing, shall take heart again (p. 1012)” invokes images of a lost, defeated person that sees someone that is actively living their life...