“When I Have Fears” and “Mezzo Cammin” Essay

983 Words Oct 25th, 2010 4 Pages
Stephanie Villalobos Mr. Domingo
AP Literature; Period 2 August 23rd 2010
“When I Have Fears” and “Mezzo Cammin” Essay
In the two poems, “When I Have Fears” by John Keats and “Mezzo Cammin” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, both of the poets deal with the death that they believe is quickly approaching them and think back to their regrets in life. Keats during the time when this poem had been written had just seen his brother die of tuberculosis and due to this he believed he too would soon die. Longfellow at the time writing his poem had been 35 and due to this was most likely experiencing a mid-life crisis. Similarities between the two poems include the poem’s theme and the thoughts of death that the two men are dealing with. The main
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The poem’s Shakespearian Sonnet structure separates the last two lines and makes it stand out. All of the things like “love and fame” (14), he knows will not matter in the end only his creations which will still be there for years after his death. In “Mezzo Cammin” Longfellow goes through the poem realizing all of the regrets he has with his life up to this point and thinks forward to his unknown future. Much of his life with goals he had wished to accomplish are at a standstill. All of the things he has left unaccomplished however he tells his audience that it was not from the distractions of life but due to being overly cautious. By saying “a care that almost killed”(Longfellow 7), he shows his wary approach to do anything in his life that may end in a bad result. Longfellow uses imagery and metaphors to show his life’s events in order. By capitalizing the words “Past”(9), and “Death”(14), he personifies the events as if he sees both of the hill as tangible people. By capitalizing the two it also emphasizes the words as main points of the poem: his fear of death and his past regrets. To make the past’s feeling Longfellow uses word choices such as “smoking roofs”, ”lights” and “soft bell” for a cheerful feeling and uses “twilight dim” to show it as a distant thing that cannot be seen easily. Death is given word choices such as “autumnal” and “thundering” to give a further feeling of the death and doom

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