Mezzo Cammin And John Keats Comparison

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Death is inevitable. For some, obsessing over not knowing when and where it might occur can often drive them to insanity. However, for others, it is simply a transition into a more perfect eternal life. John Keats and Henry Longfellow portray the concept of dying in two distinct perspectives in their poems “When I Have Fears” and “Mezzo Cammin.” Despite differing viewpoints, they use techniques such as verse, verse form and language to portray the same theme: Death will occur at an unknown time and how a person chooses to cope will impact the rest of one’s life.
John Keats came from a family that suffered from harsh illness and many relatives that died at rather young ages. In his poem “When I Have Fears,” each verse holds a longing yet understanding of death. In his first lines he states “Before my pen has gleaned my teeming brain, before high-piled books, in charactery, hold like rich garners the full ripened grain.” Keatts uses these expressions to mimic the fact that life is a constant unknown and although he holds onto every moment, he understands he might not get to share all that he has worked for. He continues to relay this message throughout his poem giving examples of everything he will one
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He is fearful in his first lines when he realizes that “Half of my life is gone, and I have let the years slip from me.” Longfellow uses his verse to emphasize all of the aspirations that will die with him. Longfellow also uses his title “Mezzo Cammin,” named after Dante’s Divine Comedy: “Nel Mezzo del Cammin di nostra vita” (“Midway upon the journey of our life”), as a sign of reflection of his life thus far. Death, in Longfellow’s verse, is “Thundering from the heights,” contrasting Keats where Death is just a way to transition to the next phase of life, Longfellow personifies Death to be more ominous and a way to stop him from truly obtaining his
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