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Analysis


Symbolism, Imagery, Wordplay

Welcome to the land of symbols, imagery, and wordplay. Before you travel any further, please know that there may be some thorny academic terminology ahead. Never fear, Shmoop is here. Check out our...

Form and Meter

RhymeLet's tackle the rhyme first, since that's pretty straightforward. See how the poem is divided up into little four-line chunks (stanzas)? Basically, the second and fourth lines in each one o...

Speaker

Alright, stick with us here. Remember the Monopoly Man, with his top hat and his cane and big mustache? You always see him running around, buying properties, winning beauty contests, and getting...

Setting

We see this poem taking place in a simple little one-room log cabin (think Little House on the Prairie). Maybe there's a moose head on the wall. There's definitely a wood stove, a comfy old chair...

Sound Check

Ever been curled up in bed at night when there was a storm outside? Maybe it wasn't a hurricane that felt like it was going to blow the house down – just a blustery, windy, rainy night. Remembe...

What's Up With the Title?

Actually, when this poem was first published, it didn't have a title. Longfellow wrote it as the preface to an anthology of poems called The Waif. In that book, it was just called "Proem," which...

Calling Card

Longfellow's poems tend to have a pretty standard form. He might switch up the meter a little, but he tends to keep the rhyme and the stanzas regular and even. Just by looking at "The Day is Done...

Tough-o-Meter

There are some old-fashioned words in "The Day is Done," and some kind of tricky poetic phrases. Once you clear those, though, we think this one should make for a pretty easy climb.

Trivia

The New-York Ledger paid Longfellow $3,000 for a single poem in 1874 (source). That was a ton of money back then, roughly equivalent to 50,000 dollars today!Longfellow knew seven (!) different lan...

Steaminess Rating

"The Day is Done" is just about as family friendly as a Disney cartoon, although with way fewer singing animals. Don't worry about bringing the kids to this one.
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