The Mystery Of Life

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade April 2001

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Many times throughout many lives, people become to realize that life is precious and that it could pass by in a twinkling of an eye. In Anna Letitia Barbauld's poem "Life," she tries to explain about life and how it affects people. Barbauld also tries to explain the significance of life to others through "Life." As people grow up and mature, life and death both become an almost unexplainable mystery to the world.

        In the poem "Life," Barbauld makes two statements about life being a mystery by saying birth is a mystery, and that there are still some unanswered questions about life. In lines 1-4 of "Life" Barbauld states,                 Life! I know not what thou art,                 But know that thou and I must part;                 And when, or how, or where we met,                 I own to me's secret yet. (31) The birth of life, to Barbauld, is still an unknown, or mystery, out there in this world.

Barbauld knows that people will die, but that person's beginning and end are not an absolute anymore. Secondly in the poem, the author, Barbauld, is still looking for the answers to life and how life came to be. The author basically states that every stone has been turned, and she cannot find any answers about the mystery of life. Barbauld is searching high and low for the answers to life that many also seek after. People continue still today to find the answers that the author speaks of. And still to all people, life is still a mystery.

        In the poem "Life," life can be taken away from us, and how we treat those feelings of loss can lead us to happiness or sorrow. Barbauld describes how life is taken away from us when she states, "Then steal away, give little warning" (31). Many times, as the author finds, life is all of a sudden taken away from us. Why life is taken from people with little warning is the mystery that the author is trying to solve. Some believe that there is no reason for death to occur, but Barbauld notes that death comes without warning also. Also, the cheerful attitude that Barbauld takes about death makes it better to bear. The last lines of the poem state that Barbauld does not want to say goodbye to a dead loved one, but to say good morning. Barbauld knows that when a loved one dies, she will see them again in heaven. The mystery of life after death is greeted with happiness and joy through these words. Through these two examples, Barbauld has shown the mysteries of death through the surprise of death, and the mystery of the "here after."         Through Anna Letitia Barbauld's poem "Life," she has shown us the mysteries of life and death. Although people are still searching for answers to this mystery today, Barbauld brings them to the light in a different perspective. Barbauld show the reality of how precious life is, and how soon death can happen. The author even goes so far as to say that we don't know when it will happen. Through this poem, the author tries to help the audience realize the importance of living life to its fullest because no one knows when it will be taken away.