Comment 10 of 20, added on May 23rd, 2010 at 5:43 PM.
WHAT ARE THE POETIC DEVICES USED?(METAPHOR SIMILE?) HELP PLEASEEE
julia from United States
Comment 9 of 20, added on May 6th, 2010 at 2:01 PM.
The two parts of Longfellow’s sonnet compare a child’s being put to bed to
an older person’s approaching death. The child is tired and probably will
fall asleep quickly, but he doesn’t want to stop playing. Some of his toys
are broken and he has been promised new, better ones to replace them, but
he isn’t sure that he will like them as much as his old favorites.
As we age and approach death, nature takes away our “playthings” gradually
(line 10); that is, we slowly lose our physical strength, our energy, our
vision and hearing, our abilities to do various things well, our sex drive,
etc. We become tired and long for rest, but at the same time, we want to
cling to life and its pleasures. The Christian religion has promised us a
glorious existence after this life, far better than we can even imagine,
but our faith isn’t quite strong enough to embrace and look forward eagerly
to crossing into that paradise.
Nature (God’s tool) helps to smooth the way. lulling us gently toward that
blessed future by dulling our faculties and preparing us for our final
sleep. Longfellow obviously believes, as the Christian faith proclaims,
that the unknown existence awaiting us far transcends (exceeds) the flawed
life here on earth, even though we cannot grasp the immensity of the glory
that awaits our transition.
from United States
Comment 8 of 20, added on January 5th, 2010 at 7:28 AM.
Nature is gift of God.
THEOSOFT from India
Comment 7 of 20, added on June 28th, 2009 at 2:15 PM.
I have a packet for summerschool and in there are a bunch of questions
about this poem. one of the questions are:
What are the "playthings" mentioned in line 10?
a)a child;s toys
b) adult status symbols
c) The people and things that fill our lives
d) irritating things that happen in life
e) Favorite activities
i think its C. this may change your thinking about the meaning of
"Playthings". im not sure though...
Lulu from United States
Comment 6 of 20, added on January 20th, 2009 at 6:59 AM.
in the poem there is a very critical scene between the comparison of
afond mother & the nature. mother promises her child to give him supeerior
playthings aftyer this but here we can ot get any chance from the nature to
get any superior world from yhis than where we liuve. here it is a
universal truth is explained which cannoty be explained by t5he situation
handling between the mother and the child.it is a very common thing that
the mother will take her child to bed but nature vtakes us when our
lifespan is over.
aman jadon from Bulgaria
Comment 5 of 20, added on January 19th, 2009 at 12:25 PM.
The poet says that one can find the answers of all questions in nature.In
this poem, man are compared to a child.All worldly things are our
toys(playthings), we are playing them,but when the sleep time -death- we
are reluctant to go.That's why the theme is death,I think too."His broken
playthings" symbolizes what we lived in the past.
Yesim from Turkey
Comment 4 of 20, added on April 16th, 2008 at 7:22 PM.
i disagree on what the "playthings" symbolize.
i think it has more to do with the unknowable future. will the child enjoy
the new plaything? it is unknowable to him. as for the other plaything
analogy, it is more the taking away of abilities one was once able to do
and as one ages, one begins to lose these things. although they are not as
able as they used to be, it is easier to cling on to known "broken" things
then to submit to unknowable, perhaps wonderful things (i.e. heaven, the
afterlife) but it is inevitable so one may not be able to completely accept
it, but one must come at least partially to terms with uncertain death
leah from United States
Comment 3 of 20, added on May 5th, 2007 at 10:12 PM.
This is an Italian sonnet, which can be divided into two sections, lines
1-8; 9-14, Each focusing on one idea, the first idea with pity, the second
Xiuxiu from China
Comment 2 of 20, added on February 28th, 2006 at 8:35 AM.
It was awsome!!.
Chris from United States
Comment 1 of 20, added on January 5th, 2006 at 8:53 PM.
Let me just say I've never heard of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow before I
read this poem so I'm not all too familiar with his work or style of
poetry. But i loved it so much that i had to share my thoughts. But it's
entirely possible that my interpretation is "wrong" yet at the same time I
think that the theme revolving around this poem is universal.
This poem is based on the theme of death. inferring from the context or the
words that are given, it's clear that the auther must be trying to convey a
message and must be comparing something to what's shown (obviously) After
the first few lines we see that the writer is teeling of a child who
doesn't want to stop playing with his toys and go to bed even though he
knows he must.
Now what I believe the deeper meaning behind the poem is that it's largely
based on either death OR the passing of time, (albeit granted the two are
related.. so nvm scratch that.. its based on death. Evidence for my
interpretation: "half willing, half reluctant to be led and leave his
broken playthings on the floor" Now I believe the broken playthings
symbolize past experiences and/or things that one might regret before an
imminent death. Additionally, the lines "Nature deals with us and takes
away Our playthings one by one" again emphasizes the symbolism behind death
by saying Nature (death is natural) takes away our past experiences (which
again is being compared to playthings)
The last line "How far the unknown transcends the what we know" is only
conveying the fact that before we die we have no idea what our "life" will
be like or how it will change. But once we die we will understand what the
afterlife is truly like.
Moreover, this last line reveals to some extent the reason why Hendry W.
Longfellow chose to specifically compare a child relucant to go to sleep
(or rather, sleep in itself) to death because this poet must have a strong
belief in that we dont all just expire, disintegrate and rot after we die
and that's it. that there is indeed a life after death.
anyways, that's my literary analysis
from United States
This poem has been commented on more than 10 times. Click below to see the other comments.