When was Longfellow’s poem ‘A Psalm of Life’ first published?
What is the subtitle of the poem? Why is this subtitle used?
The poem was first published in the October 1838 issue of The Knickerbocker or New-York Monthly Magazine, a magazine published in the New York City.
The poem ‘A Psalm of Life’ often takes the subtitle “What the Heart of the Young Man Said to the Psalmist“.
This is very important in suggesting the context of writing this poem. There goes a Biblical teaching that our human life is unreal and unimportant and we would eventually return to dust after our death. In this poem, the speaker (a young man) responds to that Biblical teachings, opposing it with his reasoning. So, this subtitle makes clear that this poem is a psalm in response to the original biblical psalm.