Talk:The Forsaken Merman
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"The Forsaken Merman," by Matthew Arnold (1822-88), is a poem that I do not expect children to appreciate fully, even when they care enough for it to learn it. It is too long for most children to commit to memory, and I generally assign one stanza to one pupil and another to another pupil until it is divided up among them. The poem is a masterpiece. Doubtless the poet meant to show that the forsaken merman had a greater soul to save than the woman who sought to save her soul by deserting natural duty. Salvation does not come through the faith that builds itself at the expense of love.
From:The Poems of Matthew Arnold (1965), ed. Kenneth Allott (Longman's Annotated English Poets):