After initially reading and studying the title, I found interesting things about both of the poems. In “When I Have Fears,” by John Keats, he writes about dying young, and a concern over doing so. The speaker is afraid to die young, before doing everything that he wants and before getting everything out of his brain that he can. Moreover, he is concerned that he will be forgotten and die before he has a chance to actually do something with his life. Some initial devices that struck out to me where rhyme scheme, alliteration and metaphors. Similarly, the second poem “Mezzo Cammin,” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow discusses life. The speaker feels pain about not doing all that he would have liked to do in his youth. However, he also feels hopeful about the future and what he will be able to accomplish. He knows that death is the only thing certain about his future.

The big question is what are the poems situations and circumstances, with also comparing and contrasting the two poems together. The first poem answers it by his situation being wanting to get everything done he wants to before dying. The second poems situation is someone who has regrets about his past, yet hope for the future and certainty in death. Devices for Keats poem are rhyme scheme, imagery, alliteration and metaphors. Some examples of imagery in the poem are “hadows with the magic hand of chance” and “Of the wide world I stand alone.” Devices for Longfellow’s poem are rhyme scheme, imagery, metaphor, and symbolism. On symbol is at the end of the poem when Longfellow talks about autumn, which is a symbol for ending of life and the end of ones journey. For my essay, I would spend one paragraph talking about imagery and the second paragraph talking about symbols.

Thesis Statement:

In “When I Have Fears,” by John Keats, the speakers situation is one of fearing death and wanting to accomplish everything they can before dying while in “Mezzo Cammin” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow the speakers situation is one of regret regarding his youth but hope regarding the future.

Topic Sentence #1:In both poems, Keats and Longfellow apply imagery in order to convey their respective situations.

detail 1: “When I have Fears”:”hadows with the magic hand of chance” and “Of the wide world I stand alone”

detail 2: “Mezzo Cammin”: “half of my life is gone, and I have let the years slip from me” and “with smoking roofs, soft bells, and gleaming lights”

Topic Sentence #2: Additionally, in the Keats and Longfellow poems both authors use symbols in order to enhance the speakers situations.


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