“Life” by: James Russell Lowell

Life is a leaf of paper white
Whereon each of us may write
His word or two; and then comes night.

Though thou have time
But for a line, be that sublime;
Not failure, but low aim, is crime

‘Life is a blank page to create your life experience. It is a short-lived event. Make sure to use your time wisely on earth, because life is an opportunity that knocks only once. Use the time you have now to make your life sublime, because you never know when it will end.’ James Russell Lowell states this very clearly in the poem above, and uses it to communicate to the reader how very important it is to put value in their life.
This poem’s AAA-BBB rhyme scheme is told from the second-person point of view and gives off a hopeful/sour mood. It motivates the reader to use their life to their advantage and get the most out of it. The metaphor, “Life is a leaf of paper white”, says that each person on earth has the opportunity to make their mark and live plentifully before night comes. The other metaphor,”then comes night” suggests that life can be looked at as a day and the night as death, and humans are oblivious to the idea that it is short lived.


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