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

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Comment 13 of 383, 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

Lauren from United States
Comment 12 of 383, 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 383, 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 383, 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 383, 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 383, 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 383, 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 383, 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 383, 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

José Dativo Marques Moutinho from Brazil
Comment 4 of 383, 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

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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: 37654 times
Poem of the Day: Sep 11 2004

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