What is the meaning of the "Psalm of Life"?


"A Psalm of Life" is a poem written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Its subtitle reads "What the heart of the young man said to the psalmist." It is the poet's response to blind faith in religion, especially Christianity.

"A Psalm of Life" tells the reader in many different ways to live life to the fullest. Longfellow writes that, "The grave is not the goal," supporting the carpe diem theme of the poem. The speaker also says, "Trust no Future, howe'er pleasant!" and "Act,– act in the living present!"

"A Psalm" also seems to be a response to how people are told to live according to religion, mainly Christianity. The subtitle, "What the heart of the young man said to the psalmist," indicates the poem is a response to Christian doctrine. The speaker says, "Be not like dumb, driven cattle!" Here he seems to be referring to those who follow the Christian religion and assume what they are fed through religious text is true. Longfellow's young speaker completely shirks Christian belief, even going so far as to say, "For the soul is dead that slumbers." This suggests the young man believes that the afterlife doesn't exist as suggested by Christianity. If the afterlife doesn't exist, then we must live for our time on Earth and for the present.

Q&A Related to "What is the meaning of the "Psalm of Life"?"
.To the average person life is very real & physical , a dream implies something pleasant , but in this phrase the poet laments that life is not only an illusion , an image that
The primary message of the poem is that life is beautiful. Henry Longfellow suffered
I find A Psalm of Life to be an extremely powerful poem. There are many. of us on this earth that do not understand that the soul is realy them. and not their body. We are all a part
I've heard that all the attributes of God are hidden in the 23rd Psalm. Example: God our Healer, God our Provider, God our Vindicator. The chapter is symbolic to how complete God
About -  Privacy -  Your Cookie Choices  -  Careers -  About P.G. Wodehouse -  Help -  Feedback  -  Sitemap  © 2015 IAC Search & Media