The poetry of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was a representation of myriads of themes. One of the themes represented in his poems is living a just life. Wadsworth’s famous poems gave strong reflections of the optimistic sentiment and his love of a good lesson that characterized the humanitarian spirit of the people, perspectives that represented the theme of living a just life. His poetry also represented the idea of embracing family and community, and this is highlighted by his poems that combined considerable learning with an enlightened understanding of the people as well as expressed the lives and ideals of humbler Americans (Gartner 2). The poem ‘My Lost Youth’ celebrates nature, and this is evident in the verse “The sheen of the far-surrounding seas, and islands that were the Hesperides…” Moreover, Wadsworth’s poetry represents the theme of commemorating history. In the poem, “The Building of the Ship” Wadsworth remembers the times before the Civil War when national unity was evident.
Similarly, Oliver Wendell Holmes’ poetry represents the aforementioned themes. First, in the poem, ‘Old Ironsides’, Wendell celebrates nature as evident in the verse “The meteor of the ocean air shall sweep the clouds no more”. Second, through his poetry, Wendell expresses his sense of responsibility that makes him ever ready for the play of ideas and that he regards as inseparable from living. These perspectives are a representation of the theme of living a just life (Holmes 6). Moreover, Wendell uses his poems to commemorate his graduation from Harvard, and thus, represents the theme of commemorating history. His poetry is a representation of the theme of embracing family and community, which is highlighted in the poem ‘My Aunt’. In the poem, Wendell appreciates his aunt as seen in the verse “My dear unmarried aunt!”
Gartner, Matthew. “Becoming Longfellow: Work, Manhood, and Poetry.” American Literature 72.1 (2000): 1-28.
Holmes, Oliver Wendell. The Poetical Works of Oliver Wendell Holmes. Houghton, Mifflin, 1906.