Monday, September 6, 2010

The Day is Done

Longfellow's "The Day is Done" has a lulling rhythm, and thus is another poem where the structure conveys a part of the meaning. Some critics have called the poem trite or overdone; I find it highly evocative. Reading it, I pondered the ways life has changed since the 1844, and the ways it remains endlessly the same. There are so many more pastimes and trinkets we may use to distract us from our own fears -- few in this day ask to hear a poem at nightfall -- and yet those same feelings creep in. I think a big part of it comes down to this: Our biggest fears as humans are about things that are outside the realm of technology to hold very far at bay.