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Desiree Peneranda, Julian Asilis, Dante Benitez, Michelle Pia

Mr. Schachner
Pre IB/AP American Literature, Period 5
21 October 2013
Forest Hymn

1. What is the significance of the title?
A Forest Hymn is significant because a hymn is a song that praises God. Since
it is a Forest hymn it implies that the forest is a direct representation of God; a
Romantic idea. This is shown in lines 46-48 Naturepresence. The capitalized
N signifies God while the rest of the sentence gives Nature a humanlike
2. Find elements reflective of Romantic themes-Any new Ideas?
Romantic themes focus on the natural world and the application of abstract ideas
such as life, love, death, and nature. A Forest Hymn embodies all these themes
through its vivid description of setting, which happens to be in the middle of a
forest. This element of descriptive setting is manifest throughout the poem but
one of Bryants stands out in its statement: For hismajesty. (Lines 8-16). A
more specific theme can be found in his application of the cyclic behaviors of life
before and after death. One example of this is in lines 76-79 Lo!...forms.
3. What is the focus of the poem?
The focus of the poem is to answer a question presented in lines 16-20
Ahraised. The hymn revolves around the explanation and lesson learned
through Bryants explanation of the connection between life, nature, and God.
Therefore, the focus on answering his own question creates a more profound and
possibly esoteric focus: explaining the Romantic genre and its new ideas to the
reader. In this specific piece, the majority of the explanation consists of the cyclic
nature of life, and nature itself. Providing any specific quote would be redundant
because the whole poem embodies Romanticism, and no one quote can fully
embody the Romantic genre. Also, its esoteric writing style leaves each line open
to interpretation; one person will see different meaning than another.
4. What is the lesson?
The lesson learned in the hymn comes from the understanding of Gods
connection with humanity through nature. It is that no matter how hard one tries
to change the natural cycles of Nature, (in this case living) not a single being can
upset this unending trend. Fear of death is inevitable, but one will never be alone
after death because s/he becomes one with nature and, in essence, God so there is
no point wasting the shortest part of life on anticipating death. This fact on
mortality is shown in Lines 37-40 Nosolitude. As well as in Bryants thesis in
Thanatopsis, saying So Live!
5. Explain the thesis.
The thesis is wholly embodied in Lines 116-118, Be itlives. To summarize
the meaning behind Bryants thesis, it stresses for humans to recognize they are
amongst nature and to appreciate life, as they currently know it. This comes from
Bryants belief on the cycles of life in which living on earth is the smallest portion
of the cycle prior to heaven or hell. It is the part of mans journey that should be
appreciated most even though it isnt; it is spent dreading the afterlife.

The trees were Gods first invention.
Every man exploited them the way he wished.
And he prayed to God,
Apologizing for the temptations
He could not resist.
For this I offer a hymn to Him;
Father, thy hand hath created all these trees.
They grew towards the skyline
Death is damaged as you grow
We cannot be blinded by pride to change your creations.
As you are exhibited in all forms of life and movement
And create peace and serenity.
You are seen in all of your perfections,
Like the grand oak that towers over me,
It is a governor with beauty and a crown of leaves,
That is a token of Love and the spirit of the universe.
Your work never finishes, but is updated.
And even in old age, life stays young and is never lost.
It is one of the beauties of life,
That mocks death on its throne.
For life has no expiration date.
Men have dedicated their lives to prayer,
And created longevity and youth through faith.
While the vices of man are intimidated by God.
As he takes control of the elements,
Causing thunder and hurricanes,
Tsunamis on concrete jungles.
Please spare us from Your wrath.
As it is our duty to acknowledge the truths
Of your creations and ideals.