This 4 page essay compares Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's "A Psalm of Life" with Edgar Allan Poe's "Sonnet—To Science" in terms of plot structure or theme, point of view, symbolism and use of poetic devices. The writer argues that Longfellow's poem is the superior of the two works. Bibliography lists 4 sources.
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Compiled By - July, 2012 properly! Henry Wadsworth Longfellows "A Psalm of
Life" and Edgar Allan Poes "Sonnet-To Science" address the way that each poet perceived life and the reality of their era. The poems are quite different in terms of plot
structure or theme, point of view, symbolism and use of poetic devices. Longfellows poem expresses an optimistic view of life that urges readers to strive towards self-improvement and meaning in
life, while Poes poem bemoans the infiltration of science into societys view of reality, arguing that science has robbed life of its mystery and beauty. Examining these differences reveals that
Longfellows poem is the better of the two works. The plot structures or themes evident in each poem pertain to the poets view of reality. Poes poem argues that
science preys upon the "poets heart" (line 3) by dispelling the mystical view of the world that can be found in classic myths. Longfellow acknowledges this viewpoint and alludes to
science in the first lines of his poem, but he does so in a manner that completely rejects the applicability of a scientific perspective to how individuals live their lives.
He writes, "Tell me not in mournful numbers,/Life is but an empty dream!" (lines 1-2). The "mournful numbers" to which Longfellow refers refer to the way in which science
tends to reduce reality to quantitative facts. As with Poe, Longfellow objects to the effect that this might have on his personal perspective, but he rejects it immediately, refusing to