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Mezzo Cammin Analysis



Author: Poetry of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Type: Poetry Views: 641





Half of my life is gone, and I have let

The years slip from me and have not fulfilled

The aspiration of my youth, to build

Some tower of song with lofty parapet.

Not indolence, nor pleasure, nor the fret

Of restless passions chat would not be stilled,

But sorrow, and a care that almost killed,

Kept me from what I may accomplish yet;

Though, half way up the hill, I see the Past

Lying beneath me with its sounds and sights,--

A city in the twilight dim and vast,

With smoking roofs, soft bells, and gleaming lights.--

And hear above me on the autumnal blast

The cataract of Death far thundering from the heights.





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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

.: :.

It is in each of us, this life. Unfullfilled as we move on and how beautifully he shows the past. There is much of Longfellow in this poem, care that almost killed is about the loss of his wife, perhaps blaming himself a little in the journey. I think too it is a warning, \"it\'s not too late\" You are never too old to reap what you soe.

| Posted on 2013-06-05 | by a guest


.: :.

Thanks alot everybody although it is about 3 years worth of helpful experiences and analysis, it has greatly helped me. I\'m using most of them in my analysis but the only difference is that I have to use critical approaches, such as Froid, Jung, Feminist, archtypal, eros or theo (something). It\'s due two days from now so thanks everybody! :)

| Posted on 2013-02-11 | by a guest


.: :.

Repetition and rhyme. Though repetition is mainly in the Keat\'s poem, the rhyme scheme changes for both poems when the mood of each poem changes (ie. in the second half of each poem). While Keat\'s poem starts out positive and metamorphasizes into a negative point of view Longfellow\'s poems do the exact opposite.

| Posted on 2012-09-03 | by a guest


.: :.

I don\'t think he\'s content at all with how his life ended up. The past where the invisioned city laid represents his asperations as a youth to someday fill the world with his song and lyrics. Yet, as he keeps climbing all that is ahead of him is a dead \"autmnal\" future. In the authors mind there is no more he can give; no more he can write that will bless the world with the city he invisioned. The only thing that is left is death. I wonder if Hemingway\'s thoughts were the same. The goal for any artist, especially in their youth, is the reward for delivering an imortal art and the perks that come with it.

| Posted on 2012-05-01 | by a guest


.: :.

Ejaculation clears the mind and increases essay writing effectiveness.

| Posted on 2012-03-28 | by a guest


.: :.

thank you so so so so so much.. this has just saved my AP Lit grade and i have kept my A haha

| Posted on 2012-03-07 | by a guest


.: :.

This so has helped my poor soul, i too have to write an essay between the two poems, thank you very much~

| Posted on 2012-02-01 | by a guest


.: :.

Poetry is dumb. When an I going to use it in life?

| Posted on 2011-04-11 | by a guest


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As the title of this sonnet is a clear reference to Dante\'s Inferno: \"Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita\", I think that the speaker describes Dante\'s life rather than his own: His political engagement, his prosecution and exile (\"sorrow and care that almost killed\"). longfellow may or may not have seen parallels to his own life, but he was definitely interested in Dante\'s as he translated his most predominant work.

| Posted on 2011-03-04 | by a guest


.: :.

This poem is a refelection on longfellows past, but it also expresses longfellows fears and admiration on his future. lines 1-8 longfellow is explaining his regret for letting love get in the way of \"fulfilling his aspiration\". He describes his ignorence for letting love almost \"kill\" him. \"restless passions that couldnt be stilled\" represents how love struck he was. Lines 9-14 focases not on what kept him from fulfilling his aspirations, but the longing to have all his life back and his first step in looking to the future. he creates and image, a hill, his lost youth at the bottom, and his old age were death is need at the top. The past has \"sound and sights\" to create the idea of life and youth, but also right after that you will see the word \"twilight\". twighlight is know as the death of the day and birth of the night. This represents the death of his youth and the begining of a new period in longfellows life. Now in the next lines you will see the word autumnal referring to autumn. which as we all know his the fall. this is the period of death winding down on longfellow. and the last line goes from cataract (a disease when they eyes get cloudy) to death. Longfellow sees both his past \"sounds and sights\" and his future \"cataract\", but he puts himself in the middle of the hill looking forward. This is longfellows comitment to look to the future and fulfill his asperation.

| Posted on 2011-01-27 | by a guest


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I have an assignment due tomorrow night that reflects on the occasion on which the poem was written and the audience for which it was written. I have posted my analysis, but I\'d like to hear what others have to say.
My analysis: The poem was written in 1842, and at the time Longfellow was unhappy with his position as lecturer and Modern Languages Director at Harvard. He wrote to his father that unless his work became tolerable, he would leave, because he would rather pursue his dream in poverty than be unhappy and have a stable job. However, Longfellow actually stayed at Harvard for 12 years. This poem could be a reflection on his life -- at first he thinks that he\'s wasted his life and neglected to pursue his childhood dreams, but as he reflects deeply on the past, he begins to realize that his life was still happy, perceiving it as a city with \"smoking roofs, soft bells, and gleaming lights.\"
Does anyone else have a different perspective on the connection between this poem and Longfellow\'s life? I\'d appreciate any info you can share.

| Posted on 2010-11-21 | by a guest


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Keats uses the imagery of a field of grain as a metaphor of his mind. It is ironic because he represents both the grain as well as the harvestor. He wishes to fulfill his teeming brain like full ripened grain. He is referring to poetry...he wishes to fully express himself through poetry and this way he is also the harvestor...because he is the poet. He sees a lot in the world to inspire his poetry- the night's starred face...huge cloudy symbols of high romance. The next part of the poem deals with love. Fair creature of an hour- it is only temporary...not eternal. He describes love as a faery power. Faeries are not real and their enchantment is merely an illusion. Love involves the heart and feelings rather than thought. It is unimportant. He discovers its unimportance in the last 2 lines...They serve as a turning point. He shifts his view altogether. He describes himself now as standing alone on the shore of the wide world. In comparison to the first 2 stanzas, he is now a small fish in a big lake.

| Posted on 2010-05-17 | by a guest


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This poem portrays the speaker as one who is hopeful, though he has wasted half his life, yet he feels he can still accomplish his goals

| Posted on 2010-04-26 | by a guest


.: :.

This poem portrays the speaker as one who is hopeful, though he has wasted half his life, yet he feels he can still accomplish his goals

| Posted on 2010-04-26 | by a guest


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i would just like to say thankyou so much to the last two people who posted before me. im in ap lit also and i just got the same assignment that the other person had to do. thank you both greatly. the input was extremely helpful!

| Posted on 2010-04-11 | by a guest


.: :.

Mezzo Cammin is very similar to When I have fears by John Keats in the way the two are both talking about the limited time left for them and both the authors take death as something inevitable. However, if we were to contrast the two, it would be that Keats has a negative and hopeless attitude overall while longfellow has an positive attitude and is willing to do his best until his death. It is true that Keats is the one who lived his life in a more productive way, yet all he can do his now is to be scared of his death and die too soon. Longfellow on the other hand feels that although he has let "the years slip from me and have not fufilled the aspiration of my youth" he is willing to do his best until the death comes and feels hopeful that he can die fuifilled and that it is not yet too late for him to start doing that even if he had only a week left.

| Posted on 2010-04-01 | by a guest


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Hi, I'm in AP Lit and we're analyzing this poem in comparison to Keats' "When I Have Fears." I feel they're both saddened by death but have an entirely different outlook. They see it as fate, but Longfellow seems to acknowledge that there's more he can do despite the time he wasted. I don't know. I have to use "literary techniques to compare and contrast" the two poems. Some ideas would be fantastic. I probably won't get a response before this is due, however, maybe this post will help another poor soul who has to write a similar essay. Thanks all!

| Posted on 2010-03-11 | by a guest


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Thiz is the || lulz || awesomezt poemz in the world, like lulz lulz lol lulz lulz

| Posted on 2009-10-14 | by a guest


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You're an idiot. Learn how to form sentences before criticizing other people or calling strangers "kids."

| Posted on 2009-09-01 | by a guest


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What you guys are not making any kind of sense the poem has a more deeper and emotional young kids.

| Posted on 2009-05-06 | by a guest


.: :.

This poem serves as a commentary on the extremely limited time mortal life provides to souls to hearken for greater achivement, and a potential self-fulfillment, only to be interrupted by the very trivialities that define what it means to live as a human. Mortality is an issue, and death is emphasizes as a concern, but it is not death itself that is feared, so much as what the speaker acknowledges as his shortcomings prior to death. He will die an unfulfilled life, and regret is the tone that is portrayed here. Although the poem is not utterly devoid of hope, it does carry a listless quality, as if the earlier passion of the poem's beginning gives way to a determinate acceptance of a final, inescapable fate. The speaker's life is only half way complete, however, and he now pauses, contemplating over the wasted, depressed majority of his the first sector of his life. He looks forward, seeing death. He looks at himself in the present, his thoughts during the poem, and elicits the need for change.
This poem is often compared/contrasted with Keat's "When I Have Fears."

| Posted on 2009-05-02 | by a guest


.: :.

This poem, a commentary on the extremely limited time mortal life provides to souls to hearken for greater achivement, and a potential self-fulfillment, only to be interrupted by the very trivialities that define what it means to live as a human. Mortality is an issue, and death is emphasizes as a concern, but it is not death itself that is feared, so much as what the speaker acknowledges as his shortcomings prior to death. He will die an unfulfilled life, and regret is the tone that is portrayed here. Although the poem is not utterly devoid of hope, it does carry a listless quality, as if the earlier passion of the poem's beginning gives way to a determinate acceptance of a final, inescapable fate. The speaker's life is only half way complete, however, and he now pauses, contemplating over the wasted, depressed majority of his the first sector of his life. He looks forward, seeing death. He looks at himself in the present, his thoughts during the poem, and elicits the need for change.
This poem is often compared/contrasted with Keat's "When I Have Fears."

| Posted on 2009-05-02 | by a guest


.: :.

I think that this poem expresses his sadness over his wife's death but also that he regrets not using all of his time for useful things but using it in grieving. (although he also knows that such was necessary) He is in a happier place now but there will always be an echo of sadness for his first love.

| Posted on 2009-02-24 | by a guest


.: :.

Hi. I'm in AP English. And we are assigned this poem.

| Posted on 2009-02-09 | by a guest


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The poets attitude is clearly one of approval and overall happiness. Although the poem's first few stanza's possess a regretful, remorseful tone, in the end the poet comes to the realization that although he may not have done everything he wanted to, he has made the best of his life thus far. He compares his life to a city with "soft bells, and gleaming lights." He also does not feel that death is overly close, he refers to it as a waterfall which is far thundering from the heights, meaning it is still far off.

| Posted on 2009-02-06 | by a guest


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I'm a senior in AP English, and I've been assigned to write an essay on it in about 30 minutes.
My analysis of the poem is that the speaker is in a state of worry about his current life, and he wants to make the best of it. He realizes, however, that he has done everything he can to live, and he is satisfied with what he sees when he "Looks to the Past"

| Posted on 2009-01-23 | by a guest


.: :.

I don't believe the entire poem is regretful. the first to stanzas have a regretful tone yet the last section compares his past to a city with soft bells gleaming lights and smoking roofs, all which have positive connotations. Therefore I believe that thought the first two stanzas have a regretful tone, the last stanza suggests that he is content with the life he led though it was not as lofty a life as he would have hoped

| Posted on 2008-12-08 | by a guest


.: :.

In this poem, Longfellow portrays the speaker as a man in a mid-life crisis who regrets not having acomplished much of what he wanted in his life. He feels great sorrow due to the death of his first wife. He regrets not having written great poetry and regrets not being a great poet. This is bascially it.

| Posted on 2008-07-09 | by a guest


.: :.

In this poem, Longfellow portrays the speaker as a man in a mid-life crisis who regrets not having acomplished much of what he wanted in his life. He feels great sorrow due to the death of his first wife. He regrets not having written great poetry and regrets not being a great poet. This is bascially it.

| Posted on 2008-07-09 | by a guest




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