Comparing The Poems ' When I Have Fears '

1229 WordsOct 27, 20175 Pages
Hawa Musa Larsen English Literature (AP) 25 October 2017 Compare and Contrast Poems Essay The poems “When I have Fears” by John Keats and “Mezzo Cammin” by Henry Longfellow have many similarities and differences in their tones, on their views on life and death, and on the symbolisms used to describe the poets’ lives. The two poets can be seen as opposites as one is more hopeful and optimistic, while the other is more pessimistic and accepting of failure. A similarity between the two poems is that they both surround the fear of dying before accomplishing life dreams. In “When I have Fears”, Keats is afraid of his life ending before he has a chance to leave a mark on the world by becoming a famous poet. You can see this in lines 1 and 2 of…show more content…
In “When I have Fears”, Keats is very cynical about attaining his goals. He has surrendered and given up. He feels that death will not allow him to attain his desires and that he won’t be able to accomplish his goals. His poem’s tone shifts from sorrow and regret in his life, to acceptance. He expected to have a “rich garner” (Line 14) of goals in his life, but won’t talk about it, neither will he talk about his “unreflecting love” (Line12). He expected a lot from life but never got to experience what he wanted. He regrets how his life has been, but accepts it, along with death. He feels at peace and accepts the fact that he’ll die. He doesn’t think he can achieve his goals anymore. However, in “Mezzo Cammin”, Longfellow is more hopeful and believes he’ll still be able to accomplish his goals. In “Mezzo Cammin”, Longfellow’s tone shifts from regret to optimism. At the end of his poem, he has hope. He realizes that by letting go of his sorrow and regret, he might be able to accomplish his goals. When writing, “But sorrow, and a care that almost killed me, / Kept me from what I may have accomplished yet” (Lines 7-8), the word “may”, conveys this hope that sometime in his future life, he’ll finally accomplish his goals. In addition, another word that conveys this hope of his is the use of the word “hill” (line 9). It conveys how his life is like a hill – he’s halfway
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