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What is the theme of the poem "A Psalm of Life" by H. W. Longfellow?

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ramesh-chandr... | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 3) eNoter

Posted February 19, 2009 at 4:33 PM via web

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What is the theme of the poem "A Psalm of Life" by H. W. Longfellow?

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lit24 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted February 19, 2009 at 10:30 PM (Answer #1)

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The lines  "Act,— act in the living Present !
Heart within, and God o'erhead !"
lucidly express the main theme of the poem.

Longfellow's "A Psalm of Life" belongs to the genre of poetry called 'Carpe Diem' poems. The Latin term coined by Horace in one of his odes  means, "Seize the day and place no trust in tomorrow."

Longfellow makes an earnest appeal to his readers not to worry about the past or fantasize about the future but to take maximum advantage of the present to achieve something valuabe and worthwhile:

"Trust no Future, howe'er pleasant !
Let the dead Past bury its dead !
Act,— act in the living Present!"

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kunj | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted June 25, 2009 at 6:06 PM (Answer #2)

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we should have a positive attitude towards life.since our life is short and our mission is vast,we should begin our work at once without being preoccupied with the result of our actions.........

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vijaykumar | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 17, 2014 at 9:35 AM (Answer #3)

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