Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

(27 February 1807 – 24 March 1882 / Portland, Maine)

The Arrow And The Song

Poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I shot an arrow into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For, so swiftly it flew, the sight
Could not follow it in its flight.

I breathed a song into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For who has sight so keen and strong,
That it can follow the flight of song?

Long, long afterward, in an oak
I found the arrow, still unbroke;
And the song, from beginning to end,
I found again in the heart of a friend.

Comments about The Arrow And The Song by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

  • Chuck Boltonera (2/25/2020 9:50:00 AM)

    This is my favorite poem of all time. I memorized it when I was very young and can still recite it exactly as it was written. I recite it at least once a week or when ever it comes to mind. It tells a beautiful story.(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
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  • Jeff J (11/3/2018 9:51:00 AM)

    The poem is about influence. We come in contact with people every day. we share ourselves with the world. We make friends and as we go about our separate ways. Only later do we find that our song, our words, our actions come back to bless us and/or others. We influence others daily and sometimes they share us in their lives with others unknowing...(Report)Reply

    5 person liked.
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  • PoemHunter14 (9/14/2018 10:10:00 AM)

    This poem is so beautifully written!(Report)Reply

    7 person liked.
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  • Radhika (7/27/2018 12:23:00 PM)

    And the song from the beginning to end I found again in the heart of a friend. These line meanings.(Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • James quirinale (7/9/2018 9:37:00 PM)

    One of my favorites(Report)Reply

    4 person liked.
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  • Anonymous (3/13/2018 12:45:00 PM)

    What does this poem mean to y’all?(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
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  • Anonymous (3/13/2018 12:42:00 PM)

    What does it mean? I need to find out(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
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  • Subhas Chandra ChakraSubhas Chandra Chakra (9/24/2017 1:57:00 PM)

    And the song, from beginning to end,
    I found again in the heart of a friend
    Nicely penned.
    Sweet poem.
    Thanks poet.(Report)Reply

    4 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
  • Spock The VeganSpock The Vegan (12/1/2016 4:03:00 PM)

    One of the great poems of all time. It shows the long lasting impact of human speech.(Report)Reply

    7 person liked.
    6 person did not like.
  • Tapan M. SarenTapan M. Saren (4/4/2016 8:54:00 AM)

    I love this poem very much(Report)Reply

    7 person liked.
    4 person did not like.
  • Biniam TekesteBiniam Tekeste (3/18/2016 6:24:00 AM)

    So true and true to the best I know.(Report)Reply

    8 person liked.
    4 person did not like.
  • Surajit Banerjee (6/11/2015 8:39:00 AM)

    A sweet realisation of self. Just superb(Report)Reply

    10 person liked.
    8 person did not like.
  • * Sunprincess * (6/30/2014 5:29:00 PM)

    ............ohh I totally love this poem....truly one of the best poems I have read today....adding to my poem collection....(Report)Reply

    26 person liked.
    14 person did not like.
  • Jelah Trapago (10/22/2013 8:19:00 PM)

    this is the first english poem i've read...my grandfather gave me a copy of this when i was 9 years old.....now i'm 14, i still love this poem....(Report)Reply

    37 person liked.
    27 person did not like.
  • Naz Tliachev (8/28/2012 3:05:00 AM)

    Nothing disappers in the thin air....Arrow - what you did bad (without control): and the song - good that remains in the heart of your friends.(Report)Reply

    126 person liked.
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  • Daniel Hu (1/18/2012 4:30:00 PM)

    the arrow means the friend and he found it unbrken and also found his friend with the song he lost so this song is abount finding something then losing it(Report)Reply

    52 person liked.
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  • Ravi ARavi A (7/30/2009 11:26:00 AM)

    The spirit of the poem is well and clear. Arrow represents our material world and song represents the subjective, spiritual world. It represents the genuineness of our heart. We may or may not get back the returns from the material world for our deeds but if our songs are genuine we can certainly get a true echo of ourselves in the hearts of people and friends. Our genuineness would live through the generations for that matter.(Report)Reply

    66 person liked.
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  • Gracefair Xue (7/5/2007 2:40:00 AM)

    this poem praises friendship.You may not know whether your contribution to friendship is valued at the time you show it, but one day to your surprise, you will find there are people who have cherish the frienship with you. Especially today, we are too busy to share many things with friends as people used to do, we can only hope that someday we can find it somewhere.(Report)Reply

    74 person liked.
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  • Sam Strode (4/26/2007 11:50:00 PM)

    It is a very interesting poem, but what I have been reading about the author that he doesn't write in the abstract so it makes me wonder if longfellow was an enivromentalist, the oak being his friend and not two different incidences(Report)Reply

    45 person liked.
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  • Rozalynne Samira (11/3/2006 6:22:00 AM)

    so well written..just touched my soul....and made a mark.(Report)Reply

    55 person liked.
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Read poems about / on: song, friend, heart

Poem Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

Poem Edited: Wednesday, September 9, 2015