Henry Wadsworth Longfellow uses certain devices in his poems to convey a certain theme. In his poems, A Psalm of Life and The Tide Rises, The Tide Falls, Longfellow uses the mood to accomplish the different theme of each work. Each poem, written at a different point in Longfellow's life, displays a different view on life.
In A Psalm of Life, Longfellow shows that life is something important and something to make the best of. His theme in this poem is that it's essential to lead a productive life because you only get one. He also shows that it is important not to live in the past. He conveys this theme through a hopeful, optimistic mood throughout the poem. Longfellow discusses that death is not the goal of life and that we need to "leave behind us, footprints in the sands of time". He stresses the importance of leading an inspiring life for others to follow. This poem was written after Longfellow lost his wife and baby, and meant to inspire readers to overcome the misfortunes that have occurred in their lives.
In Contrast, in The Tide Rises, The Tide Falls was written in Longfellow's seventies when he was in his last years. The poem uses mood to show that death in inevitable and it comes to everyone. He also wishes to show that death is just another part of life and nature. The poem talks about a traveler who walks down the beach towards town but he will never walk on the shore again and the tide washes away his footprints. When Longfellow writes "The day returns, but nevermore returns the traveler to the shore, and the tide rises and the tide falls" he conveys that the traveler has died but the sun still rises and the tide still goes in and out. The mood of the poem is accepting and calm. Longfellow is accepting that he, along with everyone else, will die and that it's just a part of nature. His attitude changed from his previous position that it was critical to live life to the fullest.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow used different moods in his poems A Psalm...
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