My life has been the poem I would have writ,
But I could not both live and utter it.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Henry David Thoreau's poem My life has been the poem


  1. Taylor says:

    It is amazing how two small lines can express so many feelings that we encounter throughout our lives. in many of Thoreau’s poems he talks about honesty towards ourselves and others. after reading the other comments, i realized how many people take words and thoughts the wrong way, and dont truly understand life. They all miss his entire point which is dont fall into the effects of society but be your own person and be true to that person. Ignorant people say a lot to the world.

  2. John says:

    This doesn’t explain anything to me!!!!!

  3. poopoo says:

    me and my awesome crap buddy made up a new poem that is rockkin like this here one

    “life’s a piece of shit,
    when you consider it”

  4. Amber Grant says:

    Hey this poem is awsome… it tells just how i would describe my life. because my life is so messed up sometimes that i dont know what to do!

  5. Daniel says:

    WOW this dude is so damn smart he just solved the meaning of living a poem or why you should never hear another, write another, record another, read another, and why another should never exist

  6. Jim McGowan says:

    Thoreau wrote in his book Walden that the key to existence is, “Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity.” That sentiment is expressed in the structure of this two-line poem. If it were filled with symbolic extended metaphors and filled pages and pages of text, it would not reflect Thoreau’s vision of the world. Also, his text Walden also explains that he went to the woods to experience life in its basest form and discover what it truly meant to live. That is the message of the poem, too, to live rather than write about the possibility of living.

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