by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
We've identified these texts as great options for text pairings based on similar themes, literary devices, topic, or writing style. Supplement your lesson with one or more of these options and challenge students to compare and contrast the texts. To assign a paired text, click on the text to go to its page and click the "Assign Text" button there.
Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night
- Dylan Thomas
Dylan Thomas' most famous poem, written for his dying father, in which he urges him to "rage, rage against the dying of the light."Pair “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night” with “Nature” and ask students to discuss the contrasting messages of each text. Does Longfellow urge us to accept death?
Because I could not stop for death
- Emily Dickinson
In Emily Dickinson's "Because I could not stop for Death," the speaker meets Death, personified as a carriage driver. This poem is a classic example of Dickinson's poetry - short, choppy sentences, packed with meaning and metaphor.Pair “Because I could not stop for Death” with “Nature” and ask students to the ways that the authors personify death in each text.
The Law of Life
- Jack London
An old man is left behind by his tribe to die of exposure. As he prepares for death, he reflects on a life spent fighting nature's brutal forces.Pair “The Law of Life” with “Nature” and ask students to discuss the relationship between death and nature in both works.
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
- Robert Frost
Robert Frost (1874-1963) was one of the most popular and critically respected American poets in history. At first glance, “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” is a rather simple poem — a man pausing his horse to observe a wintery landscape before moving on — but its carefully constructed lines, like the woods, hold a deeper power.Pair “Nature” with “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” and ask students to compare the poems. How does each poet portray death? Are these portrayals inviting and, if so, why would the poets choose to do this?
A Lonely Planet Ponders
- John P. Curtin
In John P. Curtin’s “A Lonely Planet Ponders,” Curtin uses poetry to address nonfiction topics, such as the relationship between the rigidity of scientific principles and the perceived unpredictability of life.Pair “Nature” with “A Lonely Planet Ponders” and ask students to discuss how poetry can enable the understanding of complex topics regarding life and nature. How do literary devices commonly used in poetry, such as metaphors and similes, help communicate confusing ideas? Why do they make these topics more accessible?
- Li-Young Lee
In Li-Young Lee’s poem “Eating Together,” a family shares a meal after losing the speaker’s father.Pair “Nature” with “Eating Together” and ask students to discuss how the two poets describe death. How does figurative language allow readers to better understand the deaths described in the two poems? How do the different comparisons in the two texts shape the tone of the poems?
The Little Match Girl
- Hans Christian Andersen
In this well-known short story, Andersen tells the tale of a young girl stuck in the cold on New Year’s Eve while dreaming of warmth and family.Pair “The Little Match Girl” with “Nature.” Ask students to discuss the views on death and consider whether or not Henry Wadsworth Longfellow would agree with Hans Christian Andersen. Ask students to compare and contrast the role of the grandmother and mother in each text. Ask students to describe the tone in each text. To what extent is the tone of each text similar, specifically toward the mother and grandmother?
Turn, Turn, My Wheel
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
In Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem “Turn, Turn, My Wheel,” a speaker watches in awe as a potter molds clay.Pair “Nature” with “Turn, Turn, My Wheel” and ask students to discuss how Henry Wadsworth Longfellow uses figurative language to explore complicated themes in the two poems. How does the theme of “Nature” compare to “Turn, Turn, My Wheel?” Also compare the tone and style of the two poems.
Ode on a Grecian Urn
- John Keats
In the poem “Ode on a Grecian Urn,” Keats describes elaborate images on a vase.Pair “Nature” with “Ode on a Grecian Urn” and ask students to compare how these two poets use poetry to explore death. How do the tones of these two poets differ as they discuss different aspects of death?
A Psalm of Life
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
In Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem “A Psalm of Life,” a speaker describes how humans should approach life, even with death always looming nearby.Pair “Nature” with “A Psalm of Life” to provide students with another example of a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Ask students to discuss how both texts explore the concept of death. How do Longfellow’s views on death help students better understand his perspective on life?