Monday, 23 June 2014

DAYBREAK by H W Longfellow: An Analysis

The Author:

H. W. Longfellow
    Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882), one of the great American poets of the 19th century. 

The Source:

     The poem Daybreak is taken from Birds of Passage, a collection of his poems.

The Substance:

        At daybreak a wind rises from the sea. It receives the message of the morning and starts to blow. It takes up a duty to spread the news. The heavy mists obstruct the wind. But the wind is determined to blow. It is in haste and wants to make all awake. So it requests the mists not to obstruct it. It first sees the ships anchored. But they should be set free from their anchors as the sun rises and darkness is over. The wind reminds the mariners to undertake a new journey. It blows over the distant lands and calls all to arise and awake. It calls the forest to unfold its leaves, twigs and branches fully and freely. It tells the wood birds to get up and start singing. Their song will announce the beginning of the day. It prompts the domestic cocks to herald the day.       
      The light of the sun is the source of life to the plants of the fields. They are looked after and nourished by it. They should be grateful to the sun. So the wind tells them to bow down their heads and express their gratitude. The wind passes through the church tower and results the bell to ring in the pleasant hour. Finally, the wind arrives at the graveyard of the church. It sighs sadly for the dead and softly tells them to sleep on because it is not yet the Judgement Day.

The Features:

        Daybreak is a fine lyrical poem. An urge for work is the central theme of the poem. It is written in nine lovely couplets. Keeping in mind the flow of the wind, the poet applies a breezy style to the poem. It seems that we move on with the wind from one place to another. The poet personifies the wind actually placing his own words into its lips. He successfully catches the mood and atmosphere of the earth at daybreak. Overall, the poem is really enjoyable.


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