When I Have Fears and Mezzo Cammin Essay

783 WordsMar 10, 20134 Pages
Irene Lee Ms. Bufkin AP Lit and Comp 6 11 April 2011 Timed Essay Corrections—When I Have Fears and Mezzo Cammin As people near the time of their deaths, they begin to reflect upon the history and events of their own lives. Both John Keats’ “When I have Fears” and Henry Longfellow’s “Mezzo Cammin” reflect upon the speakers’ fears and thoughts of death. However, the conclusions between these two poems end quite differently. Although both reflect upon Death’s grasp, Keats’ displays an appreciation and subtle satisfaction with the wonders of life, while Longfellow morbidly mourns his past inactions and fears what events the future may bring. The two poems are similar in their corresponding feeling of dread for death. Using diction,…show more content…
The speaker believes that love is hard to come by and that he is sad that he may not encounter it, since death is just around the corner. The speaker then also talks of “unreflecting love,” thus depicting that the speaker has never experienced real love and is unlikely to ever experience it, because he is so worried about death’s fast approach. However, at the end of “When I have Fears,” the speaker reflects that his goals for literary prowess and love are “nothingness” in comparison to the grand scope of things. There is hope after death, and Keats’ narrator finds solace in this. Although he has not achieved everything he had wanted, the speaker is still appreciative of what he was able to do. On the other hand, Longfellow’s speaker in “Mezzo Cammin” takes on a much more sorrowful and negative tone. Using diction of “half of my life,” “years slip,” and “not fulfilled,” Longellow shows that the speaker is really dreading and mourning his day to go. It seems that the speaker’s fear of death completely and irresolutely hinders him from accomplishing any of his goals. He is too busy being pessimistic about his life that he is unable to live in the present. He is also unable to dream into the future. Unlike Keats’ speaker, Longfellow’s speaker is completely stunted in from any possible growth. He is too stuck in the Past and its images of “smoking roof, soft bells, and gleaming lights.” This hazy
Open Document