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

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Comment 11 of 381, 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 381, 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 381, 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 381, 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 381, 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
Comment 6 of 381, added on June 28th, 2005 at 4:55 AM.

this poem reminds of the interpersonal relationship. you know, the arrow in
the poem represents something concrete and physical, the shooting of the
arrow results in nothing; while the song has sowed love in other people's
heart, this shows the power of music, it can transcend the limitations of
the realistic world.

Grace from China
Comment 5 of 381, added on May 30th, 2005 at 4:08 PM.

Today when I was thinking about this poem, I tried Google and your site was
the first one to show it. I have a strong feeling about this poem because,
many years ago, when I was listening the records of Linguaphone, an old
english course sold in Brasil those days, I found it and enjoy it very
much. It remember me of my youth days back in the interior land, in the
brasilian state of Minas Gerais, and used to play game with my bow and
arrows that I made. The poem sounds to me like a tender and sweet music.
Since those days, whenever possible, I say the piece, and all people get
touched by its words and sound. Thank you for remembering me such great

Josť Dativo Marques Moutinho from Brazil
Comment 4 of 381, added on May 9th, 2005 at 4:09 PM.

The Arrow and The Song is a great poem. I had to learn it in high school
and i am now teaching it to my daughter. It is a fabulous poem!!!

Britt from United States
Comment 3 of 381, added on October 30th, 2004 at 12:21 PM.

To M. Deneen Carter,

Thank you for "reinforcing my belief" that people do listen. I work in a
business where people listen superficially, at best, to the lyrics of the
songs. I've read countless music reviews and came to the conclusion that
people don't listen. Not even when they're paid to listen! I was given a
book of poems as a gift and found The Arrow and The Song just when I needed
it. It expressed my feelings perfectly and I began arranging a vocal
version immediately. Longfellow's poem spoke to my feelings of isolation
at the time. It brought to mind messages in bottles and the like. After
recording the song I began to wonder where the song might land. My
question has been answered. Thank you for listening.


elisa burchett from United States
Comment 2 of 381, added on October 17th, 2004 at 11:59 PM.

I recently heard a song entitled "The Arrow & The Song", written and
produced by Elisa Burchett and Dmitry Brill(2003); it is a beautiful and
captivating song on a 'chill/lounge' compilation CD mixed by Peter
Rauhofer(2004). I was instantly enamoured with and intrigued by the
metaphors suggested within the lyrics. I read the CD jacket insert further
and realized that the producers of the song gave credit to Longfellow's
poem of the same name. The experience reinforced my belief that many people
are drawn instinctually to certain types of language, as I have long
considered H.W.Longfellow to be one of my favorite poets.
Irony ensued immediately as it then occurred to me that I could not
recall having ever read this particular poem before hearing the song.
Furthermore, the title centers, at least in part, a 'song'.
I understand there are many references to this pair, arrow and song,
throughout many cultures and civilizations of known human history. In
today's everchanging paradigm of quantum mechanics (pardon the pun), I feel
the 'arrow' may represent God's creation of light/the theory of the speed
of light; the 'song' correlating with sound.

M Deneen Carter from United States

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Information about THE ARROW AND THE SONG

Poet: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Volume: The Belfry of Bruges and Other Poems
Added: Feb 1 2004
Viewed: 37478 times
Poem of the Day: Sep 11 2004

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