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.
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) was an American poet and educator, known particularly for his lyric poems. In this poem, he compares death to a mother leading her child to bed.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?
The Three Questions
- Leo Tolstoy
Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) was a famous Russian author, perhaps best known for his novels War and Peace and Anna Karenina. In this short story, a king looks for three answers to three questions in order to make himself a better ruler.Pair “The Three Questions” with “A Psalm of Life” and ask students to discuss how both texts explore the importance of living in the moment. Why is it not beneficial to worry about the past or present? How do both texts explore the greatness that can be accomplished in the present?
To a Mouse
- Robert Burns
In Robert Burns’ poem “To a Mouse,” a speaker encounters a mouse as he is plowing a field.Pair “To a Mouse” with “A Psalm of Life” and ask students to discuss why the two speakers value living in the present. How do Robert Burns’ views on life compare to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s? What disadvantages do both speakers explore about living in the past or future?
Welcome to the Underworld
- Michael A. Signal
In Michael A. Signal’s “Welcome to the Underworld,” Hermes, the messenger of the gods, takes readers on a tour of the Underworld.Pair “A Psalm of Life” with “Welcome to the Underworld” and ask students to discuss how the themes of life and death are explored. How does the speaker in “A Psalm of Life” think people should live their lives? How does this compare to the lives and behavior that Hades rewards people for when they reach the Underworld?