Writing 201:Poetry—- Weekend Potluck

Below is the poem I love. I memorized it when I was in third standard. Our teacher who was a Nun, encouraged us to memorize poems by famous poets, which we used to recite in our class.

A Psalm Of Life

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

TELL me not, in mournful numbers,
  Life is but an empty dream!—
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
  And things are not what they seem.
Life is real! Life is earnest!          5
  And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
  Was not spoken of the soul.
Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
  Is our destined end or way;   10
But to act, that each to-morrow
  Find us farther than to-day.
Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
  And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating   15
  Funeral marches to the grave.
In the world’s broad field of battle,
  In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
  Be a hero in the strife!   20
Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant!
  Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act,—act in the living Present!
  Heart within, and God o’erhead!
Lives of great men all remind us   25
  We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
  Footprints on the sands of time;
Footprints, that perhaps another,
  Sailing o’er life’s solemn main,   30
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
  Seeing, shall take heart again.
Let us, then, be up and doing,
  With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,   35
  Learn to labor and to wait.

 

I like all the verses, my favorite is the last verse. Here he sums it up by asking his readers to try their best to do everything to be successful.

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10 thoughts on “Writing 201:Poetry—- Weekend Potluck

  1. Dear Ranu,

    Thank you very much for sharing this poem from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. We like it very much.

    Many lines of it remind me of the lessons conveyed to us by Iqbal. We like this poem very much!

    All good wishes,

    robert

  2. My dearest sister,

    Thank you so much for sharing it – and it has been one of my favorite poems too. Just read it after such a long time again.

    Yes, the last line is the best but also so difficult to follow: ” Learn to labor and to wait.” 🙂

    • Why is the last verse difficult, the poet clearly tells the reader to put in the work and wait for the results, he is discouraging impatience. This is what I understand, do you think he means something else? Thanks brother for commenting. 🙂

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