Literary Analysis of the poem “Hymn to the Night”, by

1762 Words Feb 14th, 2008 8 Pages
Literary Analysis of the poem "Hymn to the Night", by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, applying the "New Criticism" approach.

Imagery: The imagery of the hymn is very rich and diverse. Longfellow uses a lot of personifications, similes, metaphors, and other literary figures to create the aesthetic atmosphere of the poem.

Personification: The most widely used device of the poem is personification. The central image of the poem is the Night that is a personification of the beloved woman. Personification is used through the whole poem: the Night has clothes ("the trailing garments" and "sable skirts"). Moreover, the Night is spelled with the capital letter like a person's name. In the fifth stanza the poet describes it as a human being: "Oh holy
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quickly and powerfully fringe (DECORATION) noun [C] a decorative edge of hanging narrow strips of material or threads on a piece of clothing or material If a piece of clothing is fringed with something, it is decorated with it.

might (POWER) noun [U] power, strength or force stoop (BEND) verb [I] to bend the top half of the body forward and down manifold (MANY) adjective LITERARY many and of several different types chime verb (of bells) to make a clear ringing sound Let the church bells chime. [I] The grandfather clock chimed nine o'clock. [T] chimes plural noun Chimes are a set of small bells, or objects that make ringing sounds.

wind chimes bear (ACCEPT) verb to accept, tolerate or endure esp. something unpleasant thrice adverb [not gradable] OLD USE three times care (WORRY) noun a feeling of worry or anxiety fair (BEAUTIFUL) adjective OLD USE (of a woman) beautiful spell (MAGIC) noun [C] spoken words which are thought to have magical power, or (the condition of being under) the influence or control of such words bear (CARRY) verb [T] SLIGHTLY FORMAL to carry and move (something) to a place In the "Hymn to the Night" there are also several words related to the Old English such as "thrice" that means three times, thou, layest, thy, thee. The author also uses different tenses, for example the past tense: "I heard the trailing garments of the Night","I saw her sable skirts…","I felt her presence." Some lines are
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