“When I Have Fears That I May Cease to Be” by John Keats and “Mezzo Cammin” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow can both be seen as poems written to show that death is uncontrollably near. In both poems, symbols and use of a certain style of speech are used to help tell the difference in the two separate works, and through these techniques, these two men make in detail on how humans can react to a destined death.
Similarly, both authors use symbols to show the different meanings between the two poems. Keats uses symbols to show how he has been missing out on life and what was left undone; the regret that Keats feels is shown throughout the poem. During the night he looks up and sees, “Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,” which shows that he wants someone to love, but feels that love is too far out of reach. Keats also writes that, “unreflecting love” is something that he has qualms over and that no one has ever loved him back. Keats uses the clouds to show that achieving love is such a large task, but yet he still wishes he would have tried harder at accomplishing what could have been. Longfellow uses symbols to show his fear for his approaching death; he also uses symbols in his poem to show his fear of upcoming death. To show his not so exciting years of life, Longfellow explains that he is “half-way up the hill, I see the Past / Lying beneath me with its sounds and sights / A city in the twilight dim and vast.” Longfellow uses the “hill” to