The Village Blacksmith Questions and Answers
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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What are the three physical characteristics of the village blacksmith in "The Village Blacksmith?"

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In the poem "The Village Blacksmith" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, the poet describes the blacksmith as a large, strong man with long, black hair and a tan face. In stanza one, the reader discovers he has "large and sinewy hands." Additionally, the poet compares the "muscles of his brawny arms" to "iron bands" to emphasize the blacksmith's physical strength. In stanza two, the poet goes on to describe his hair as "crisp, and black, and long," and "his face is like the tan." All of these characteristics are physical.

However, as the poem proceeds, the reader discovers more important information about the blacksmith. In stanza five, it is revealed that the blacksmith is religious and attends church on Sunday with his children. Next, it is revealed that the blacksmith's wife is deceased, and he is raising his family on his own. He still grieves for the loss of his wife, throughout all the difficulties and hard work he faces.

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There are more than three physical characteristics provided in the description of the blacksmith. The poem states that he is "a mighty man"; that he has "large and sinewy hands"; that he has "brawny arms" with muscles like "iron bands." He has long, dark hair and a good tan, and his face is wet with the sweat that comes from hard physical labor.

Digging a little deeper, the blacksmith's appearance is open and direct. He can walk upright and proud because he earns his daily wages by doing his daily work. He treats all people honestly and worthily, which allows him to approach his life without a frowning or angry expression. While there is some sorrow and regret that his wife is no longer alive with him, he is carrying on and making a good life for himself and his children, and his physical appearance probably reflects that it is a struggle, but that he is succeeding.

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