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The Arrow and the Song By 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.

My thoughts:

This is a poem where Longfellow shares an enlightening experience of his own ‘I guess’ to the readers..I think ‘arrow’ means a hurtful word or an absurd action that he said or did and probably never looked back to the see the consequences of what he have done. Likewise, I think a ‘song’ might mean that it was a pleasing word or a worthy action that he have said or done and again he never looked back to see whether it has benefited the person or not.

Nevertheless, ages later he happened to meet the person to whom he must have shot the ‘arrow’ and sang the ‘song’ to. And found an insightful truth that apparently the wound Longfellow caused to his friend has not yet healed but at the same time, the good word/deed done was never forgotten.

The message or lesson I retrieved  from Longfellow ‘s poem was that–‘Our words and actions can affect another person, much deeper than we know and ‘Time’ may have no effect on it at all. ‘

So next time I guess when we think to share a gossip, a lie, or even use harsh words out of anger… I suppose we should think twice. And let’s try to use kind words, supportive gestures and get involved in to more helpful actions..so that we are remembered one day … for the beautiful song we sang for them!

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