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Analysis and comments on THE ARROW AND THE SONG by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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Comment 16 of 376, added on April 29th, 2007 at 8:24 PM.

We sang the words to this poem as a song in chorus this year, as well as
the first verse to "Snow-Flakes".As I read these poems to myself, the
chords that accompanied these words are playing in my head... I believe
that Longfellow has a hidden talent as a songwriter as well as a poet.
(come to think of it, What's the difference?)

Madeline from Uzbekistan
Comment 15 of 376, added on January 23rd, 2007 at 5:59 PM.

i really like this poem it kinda touched me you know wat im sayin

jeff
Comment 14 of 376, added on January 6th, 2006 at 9:40 PM.

The poem The Arrow and the Song was written by the famous poet Henry
Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882). Henry lived in the romantic era long with
composers Berlioz and Schumann. The romantic era was a period of brilliant
masterpieces centered mainly of peace, love and symbolism. The Arrow and
the Song was one of his greatest works and its meaning continues to today
with the arrangement for choir by Marilyn Lightfoot.

In the first line of the first stanza, the word arrow represents a
friendship because like arrows, friendships can fly a far distance. The
second line of the first stanza, “It fell to earth, I knew not where;”
signifies that what the arrow symbolizes has been forgotten or lost from
sight. The last two lines in the first stanza signify that things can
change in a blink of an eye because if you blink you can literally miss the
flight of an arrow.

The word song in the first line of the second stanza can represent many
things. It can represent memories, dreams or rumors because if any of these
things are spoken aloud, like a song, others will learn of them. I also
noticed that the first two stanzas were very similar to each other and that
lead me to believe that the arrow and the song both symbolize the same
things. Also the second line of the first and second stanzas, “It fell to
earth, I knew not where” represents that you can have no idea of where
certain things may end up and they may bear unexpected consequences. The
last two lines of stanza two confirm this. It also represents that a small
act of kindness can convince a person to do an act of kindness to another
and so on and so forth.

In the first sentence of the last stanza, I believe they choose the word
oak because oaks are solid, strong and in this poem are used to symbolize a
person’s soul. Also in the second sentence of the first stanza, “I found
the arrow still unbroke;” signifies that they found that the friend from
the first stanza was still their friend, no matter what disagreement they
may have had. Finally, the last two lines of the third stanza states “And
the song, from beginning to end/I found again in the heart of a friend.”
These lines imply that seeing or talking to a friend can revitalize hopes,
goals, and dreams.

The title also supports my theory. Since an arrow is intended to be
harmful, this may be the reason that the friendship was “killed”. Also,
since songs are meant to be meaningful, pure and beautiful, this can easily
represent memories, dreams or goals, since they are meant to be meaningful,
pure and beautiful.





Patrick Steeves from Canada
Comment 13 of 376, added on December 16th, 2005 at 4:25 PM.

For chorus in 8th grade our chorus teacher, Dr. Laun Berry, composed The
Arrow and the Song by, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. It is avery touching
song and tells a story about a very important lesson learned about
friendship. The amazing lyrics and sything words are what make this poem
extravagent!

Lauren from United States
Comment 12 of 376, added on December 15th, 2005 at 6:47 AM.

An analysis on diction…
Since Henry Wadsworth Longfellow is a well-known poet of the Indian poems
of Hiawatha, it is not a surprise that he used the words arrow and song to
present this poem. An arrow is an ancient weapon used by the Indians and
other ancient people in warfare and hunting. The Indians in particular made
their individual arrows for their own personal use; thus, they can identify
their own amidst a hundred of other arrows. And long before writing was
developed, Indians express their thoughts and feelings, orally; thus,
singing was one of the popular arts in oral communication. So literally,
one can picture an Indian shooting an arrow without specific target and
lost sight of it. At another instant, the same Indian sang a song and lost
sight of it, for nobody can see where a song goes. But later on in his
life, he saw his arrow again stabbed deep in an oak, intact. And he also
realized that his song was wholly kept in the heart of a friend.
An analysis on Imagery…
The author used metaphor in conveying a very basic yet important lesson to
the readers; for naturally, an arrow is a harmful weapon—it hurts and
worst, kills; while the song obviously relieves or refreshes the mind and
heart. Thus, one can conclude that these two things represent or are a
metaphor of the two kinds of words that each of us is capable of saying:
the destructive or piercing words and the constructive or praising words.
At the same time, the oak represents a person hurt by the cruel words one
has spoken. The evil words had remained fresh and nurtured in spite of
time. And the friend represents a person one has encouraged with such
pleasing words that the deed was remembered through time.
An analysis on theme…
The poem reminds everyone to think twice and be aware of what one
speaks—for words travel very quickly. And once out can either dishearten
or encourage the person involved, and those words could affect him or her
for a lifetime.


Honey Love Longos from Philippines
Comment 11 of 376, added on November 7th, 2005 at 7:01 PM.

I think this poem tells the powerful story of friendship. Although the
arrow, the sometimes harmful words exchanged in a relationship, flies away
quickly without a trace, the song, the loving forgiveness and compassion
that friends possess, supercede and rush over the once piercing wound of
the arrow. The song is everlasting, "from beginning to end," a true
depiction of friendship and love.

Katy from United States
Comment 10 of 376, added on October 26th, 2005 at 2:31 PM.

The poem is a moral lesson. Longfellow cautions us that the words we say
travel quickly and widely. The arrow is an insult or negative word. The
oak is an angry person we offended by the indiscriminate remark. The song
is a compliment or word of praise. The friend is simply that... a friend.
Better to sing songs than to shoot arrows!

Dennis Zelmer from United States
Comment 9 of 376, added on September 20th, 2005 at 10:32 PM.

Well, i've encountered this poem while i was tutoring to my grade 4
neighbor. The arrow and the song is a poem that depicts the outcomes or
consequences of our action, may it be for the betterment of the others or
just plain out of nothing to do at all. the arrow symbolizes an object that
could harm in itself, that once you release it you are not determined
whether it would put a harm to someone or something on which it land. the
song on the other hand is the irony of the arrow; the song could posibly
connote a good deed that was given to someone. It might go swiftly and
instantly but the effect is undetermined as well. This poem is about an
arrow that symbolizes harm and a song that symbolizes compasion; once used
together could create an outcome far different from what we have perceive.
The end of the poem resolves what the two object has done; the arrow didn't
create any harm while the song won a friend to end.

jen antonio from Philippines
Comment 8 of 376, added on July 7th, 2005 at 11:59 AM.

I have studied this in my college class in India. After that today to read
this poem again. Excellent piece of work by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

S. Santhosh from India
Comment 7 of 376, added on June 30th, 2005 at 9:43 AM.

I love this poem. I had to remember and receit this poem in grade school,
and I fell in love with it. I have been searching for it for a while now. I
never forgot it once I had to memorize it.

Heather from United States

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Information about THE ARROW AND THE SONG

Poet: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Poem: 18. THE ARROW AND THE SONG
Volume: The Belfry of Bruges and Other Poems
Added: Feb 1 2004
Viewed: 37090 times
Poem of the Day: Sep 11 2004


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