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Longfellow Serenade

There was a time, back in the Days of Yore when poetry was an art and really did sound like music that you wanted to listen to. Sometimes I go back and reflect on poems and this one that I read as a child, I still enjoy. The duality of meaning, comparing the arrow and the song, the lesson for humanity and the lovely way that it unfolds can still inspire today as it did during Longfellow’s time. You can see evidence of this in Neil Diamond’s 1974 sparkly, coral bell bottoms tribute. If you missed the 1970s and bell bottoms, then I might just have to write a fashion tribute to that. Ok, maybe not.

The Arrow and the Song

–Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I shot an arrow into the air,

It fell to earth, I knew not where;

For, so swiftly it flew, the sight

Could not follow it in its flight.

I breathed a song into the air,

It fell to earth, I knew not where;

For who has sight so keen and strong,

That it can follow the flight of song?

Long, long afterward, in an oak

I found the arrow, still unbroke;

And the song, from beginning to end,

I found again in the heart of a friend.

It is a holiday weekend for those of us here in the States, so in the spirit of Longfellow, I encourage all of you to go out and enjoy some wonderful songs. I will be making my way to Medicine Park, Oklahoma for a bit of rock ‘n roll. It isn’t Texas, but only a few miles away, and yes, it will be hot and I will not be wearing bell bottoms or sparkling, but will probably wear a lot of sunscreen. Happy 4th of July for those who celebrate it!

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35 thoughts on “Longfellow Serenade

  1. A favorite poem. It is hard to separate Neil Diamond from the seventh inning stretch of the Boston Red Sox. “So good, so good, so good” Happy 4th of July! -Jennie-

  2. Oh, I remember that Longfellow poem but have not read it in years. And I remember the Neil Diamond song from 1974. Still love his older music too. Wasn’t he hot in those coral bell bottoms? You must write a tribute to them. Have a safe July 4 in Oklahoma.

  3. What a wonderful poem! I´ve got a copy of “The Song of Hiawatha” by Longfellow somewhere lying around and will get it out and read a bit in it later, I think! Thank you for pointing me in that direction 😉 Have a lovely weekend! xxx

  4. Wonderful poem. I love the thought/imagery of finding the song, from beginning to end, in the heart of a friend. And Neil Diamond is an all time favorite. It feels uplifting to sit with the poem and the song.

  5. A long time since I read this and lovely to be reminded of it. Just great and never knew it was put to a song! Wishing you a brilliant weekend of celebrations! Sun screen yeah! That must mean it’s sunny and warm…I’ve nearly forgotten what it’s like!

  6. I remember loving Neil Diamond and yes, to 1974! High school graduation. . . I had a few bell bottom pairs of jeans but my favorite pair was of dark brown corduroys! I have a photo of myself with a blue silk blouse and those pants, Lana!
    I am so glad you focused on the actual beautifully written Longfellow poem. ❤

    • I so love that poem, that I memorized it years ago and frequently revisit and think about it. I also love the seventies (class of ’79). I’m glad you have bell bottom pics, I’m sure your grandies will get a kick out of them when they are older, who knows, they may be back in style, ha ha. I don’t think I have any bell bottom photos of myself.

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