The Arrow and The Song

A  very good friend of mine sent me a poem today. She said it reminds her of me. First of all, it’s pretty cool these days to get a poem from a friend. [ I have very cool friends] Second, it is a great poem! I love it. And so naturally, I’m sharing it with you.


The Arrow and The Song


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 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.

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)


Poetry has a way of weaving words into a work of art that expersses feelings we never had words for before. There is no “right” or “wrong” interpretation of a poem. It’s always personal. The very best poems have universal themes. Longfellow knew how to write the very best kind of poems.


I love this poem, because even though it was written nearly two centuries ago, I think it applies even more today in our modern world of global communication and instant feedback! To me, it stands as a reminder that no matter what I do or say – however trivial or unimportant it may seem – the impact will be far-reaching and long-lasting to others. For good, or for ill. It is my hope that my words and actions will not be like the damaging “arrow”, but rather like the healing “song”! This is why I write and blog [and sing, and live…]. I want to reach out to the world in good ways, and make a positive difference before my time is up. I know I don’t always succeed, but I’m trying. Someday, “long, long afterward“, I hope to discover that my “song” was remembered. – MoSop

Another great thing about classic poetry is that most have been created into songs. Here’s a pretty version I found on YouTube created by janiegirly07. Art imitating Art. Enjoy!

Do you like this poem? What does it mean to you? 
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    1. DeEtta – that’s cool! I remember memorizing a lot of Emily Dickenson, and Robert Frost poems in elementary and Jr. High school. But, I’d never heard this one before. Glad you enjoyed!


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