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 Post subject: The Arrow & The Song ?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2003 9:53 am 
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QuoteMaster
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Joined: Wed Apr 03, 2002 3:01 pm
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Location: Jackson, Tennessee
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 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 has been written (or said) that Longfellow seldom wrote in the abstract. The arrow flies as a rhyme but the song seems to loose wind in its flight. Both are lost and both are eventually recovered. In a case of more or less, it is more abstract than not. There seems to be a question within the arrow. The song is somewhat of an enigma because it is a song without words. Popular wisdom would suggest there are two separate meanings in this poem.

What is the significance of the arrow?

What is the significance of the song?


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2003 8:23 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 03, 2002 3:01 pm
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Location: Jackson, Tennessee
The Arrow & The Song is not easily defined as a poem. I would define it as a poetic parable. It illustrates two deeds and two consequences. The significance of the arrow (in my opinion) is to illustrate the far reaching effect of a deed. Sometimes we do things in our life without a particular reason or motive. Later in life we might discover the consequence of that deed. As an archer, I can tell you that looking for a lost arrow can be disenchanting. Consequently, finding a lost arrow can be rewarding. Not long ago I found one of the first arrows that I ever lost. It was Bear, metic magnum (aluminum shaft) that I purchased in the spring of 1976. I found it on my parents land this spring. The plastic vanes (fletchings) were faded.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2003 3:47 pm 
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Location: England
Robin Hood also shot an arrow into the air - to choose the site of his grave.

"Kirklees has been known as the place of Robin Hood's burial since at least the early sixteenth century; but just how long the grave has actually existed remains a mystery. The eighteenth century garland version of Robin Hood's Death, tells us that the dying outlaw chose his own burial place by shooting his last arrow from a window in the nunnery ('And where this arrow is taken up, There shall my grave digged be')"

Henry


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2003 7:45 pm 
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Location: Avebury
This may be too simplistic but I have heard the arrow described as an unkind hurtful remark and the song as a verbal kindness.


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