Skip to main content

Today in Language: Crosby and Longfellow

Fanny Crosby, known to many Christians as the writer of such songs as "Blessed Assurance" and "All the Way My Savior Leads Me," was born on March 24, 1820.

The New York Institute for Special Education reports that Crosby penned the following lines as part of her first poem (at least it is the first poem we are aware of, I suppose) at the age of eight:
Oh what a happy soul I am,
Although I cannot see;
I am resolved that in this world
Contented I will be.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, another American known to many as one of America's most-acclaimed poets (though many would regard his verse as trite), died on March 24, 1882. Decidedly more pessimistic, or perhaps some would say simply realistic or practical, than Crosby in his poetry, Longfellow nonetheless wrote the following in his poem "A Psalm of Life," more forward-looking than he tends to be:

Trust no Future, howe'er pleasant!
    Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act,— act in the living Present!
    Heart within, and God o'erhead!

Crosby did, of course, have her share of heartache and personal problems, not the least of which was her oft-troubled marriage. And Wadsworth had his share of joy and success in life. But I can't helping looking at one's poetry as definitely joyful and the other's as decidedly melancholy. And I think this was largely shaped by their views of God and their mindset in regard to the situations and troubles that they found themselves in. How does your personality affect your use of language? Do you identify more with Crosby or Longfellow?

And by the way, on another, entirely coincidental, inconsequential note, the man who wrote the music for "All the Way My Savior Leads Me" was named Robert Wadsworth Lowry.


Popular posts from this blog


Read this in English.





今週初めて黒澤明の『隠し砦の三悪人』という映画を見ました。この三悪人とは、だれですか? 三船敏郎が演じる真壁六郎太(まかべろくたろう)と二人の百姓です。この3人の登場人物の関係はとても面白くて、全ての人間の弱さも愛される性質も示します。


Movie Review: A Better Life - Part 2

This is the second part of a two-part review of A Better Life. The first part dealt more with the background issue of illegal immigration, whereas this part focuses more on the movie itself.

In the movie, neither the undocumented immigrants (representative of all the undocumented, but particularly those with upright motives) nor the police (representative of the legal system, including courts, prisons, and immigration) is entirely at fault. Both are stuck in an imperfect, human system.

The viewer is led to sympathize with the undocumented man, an honest landscaper who wants nothing but to work hard so that his one son can have a better life. He’s away from home; his wife left him when his son was little; he has next to nothing; when he does acquire something (a lawn business and pickup with equipment) it gets stolen from him. And yet, the movie does not excuse what he does wrong nor does it try to show him as a man victimized and ruined by the consequences of his actions.

Apart fr…