By Ilene Tuck | 1st Period
Life is Fine by Langston Hughes
I set down on the bank.
I tried to think but couldn’t,
So I jumped in and sank.
I came up once and hollered!
I came up twice and cried!
If that water hadn’t a-been so cold
I might’ve sunk and died.
But it was Cold in that water! It was cold!
I took the elevator
Sixteen floors above the ground.
I thought about my baby
And thought I would jump down.
I stood there and I hollered!
I stood there and I cried!
If it hadn’t a-been so high
I might’ve jumped and died.
But it was High up there! It was high!
So since I’m still here livin’,
I guess I will live on.
I could’ve died for love—
But for livin’ I was born
Though you may hear me holler,
And you may see me cry—
I’ll be dogged, sweet baby,
If you gonna see me die.
Life is fine! Fine as wine! Life is fine!
- This is a narrative poem, and the speaker almost commits suicide twice.
- The speaker expresses eagerness, sadness, compassion, depression, and love.
- The mood of this poem is gloomy, but positive toward the end.
- The speaker is a man, not the poet, and is speaking to himself.
- The tone is bitter, and calm.
- The form of this poem is a monologue.
- The movement is from one attitude to another, and has cause and effect.
- The syntax consists of 20 sentences, it is simple, and has verbs in front of the nouns.
- The punctuation throughout this poem contains many exclamation points, and a few enjambments in the middle of the lines.
- The title means life is fine, which is the main idea of the poem.
- The diction is composed of simple words.
- There are no allusions in this poem.
- There is a lot of imagery in this poem, like personification when it capitalizes "Cold" and "High," making the river and building a proper noun. There are some similes like "Life is fine! Fine as Wine!" There is also a metaphor "But for livin' I was born" which means that in order to have a new outlook on life, you must be out of your comfort zone.
- The rhyme scheme for this poem is ABCB
- The effect of meter is that i makes the poem more suspenseful and meaningful to the reader.
- There are no "sound effects" in this poem.