A Psalm of Life
1 I think the message of this poem is to try to encourage people to live their lives in an important manor. Don’t just follow the crowd; stand out and be somebody noteworthy. Life is short, and we need to make it count. 2 I agree completely with the author’s view on life. I suppose my life philosophy is something along the lines of carpe diem, which is basically what he is saying in the line “Act--act in the living Present!” The last stanza of the poem was the part that spoke to me the most. I feel like he’s saying that we need to continue pursuing to live a valuable life, and take whatever is thrown at us with an open mind. Don’t be discouraged by the bad things, and “just keep swimming.” 3 In lines 25-32, Longfellow is saying that if you look back on great people before you, you will find inspiration to do great things like they did, and that you need to leave your mark on this world so that in the future, some distraught person will look to your life and be encouraged to better himself and keep pushing forward. I agree with him completely. When I’m feeling discouraged about anything, I always think about John Locke and how he was able to change America, France, and most of Latin America, just by pushing to get his extremely controversial ideas out into the open. 4 I think that if this song were to be put to music and sung, it would be a marching song. It’s just so inspirational and uplifting that it makes you feel like anything is possible. 5 It’s hard for me to pin exactly how Puritans like Anne Bradstreet or Jonathan Edwards would respond to this text. Partly, I think they would agree, because Longfellow mentions that by looking back on other peoples’ lives we understand that we, too, can live highly spiritual and intellectual lives, but I also feel like they would disagree. Puritan lives were all about structure and schedules, and doing everything to please God. Your goal wasn’t to be the best you you can be. It was to be...
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