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Word Count: 705
Look not mournfully into the past It comes not back again Wisely improve the present It is thine Go forth to meet the shadowy future without fear and with a manly heart This is a saying Longfellow read in Germany where his wife died The words gave him hope for the future It inspired him to want to write a series of psalms The first one A Psalm of Life written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow is an uplifting poem that compels us to feel hope for the future After reading it the first time it had a powerful effect on me Surprisingly he wrote this poem few months after his first wife died Longfellow took his wifes death and interpreted it as a sign to look at life as fleeting and it passes quickly I feel that Henry Wadsworth Longfellow after his wifes death had an optimistic view on life in the poem A Psalm of Life The second stanza seems to say that life is here and it must be lived It is real and not just some dream Line five supports this with the hopeful exclamation that Life is real Life is earnest In the next line he says And the grave is not its goal Longfellow feels you dont live to die Death is not the point of living a just life Lastly in this stanza he states Dust thou art o dust returnest was not spoken of the soul Our bodies will turn to dust but the soul will live on He feel there is an afterlife and we are here forever in spirit But what we do with our time on earth is what makes us eternal because we are remembered for how we lived our lives Lines 5-8 pg 302
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