About the poet
Horace J. Morse, born in Norwalk, Huron County, Ohio on December 30, 1838, was the thirteenth Adjutant General of the State of Connecticut. Morse parents were Charles Aldro Morse and Lauretta Cooledge Smith. When Horace J. Morse was younger he lived in Lockport, N.Y., where he received his main education, and then attended Cambridge University in England. He later moved to Hartford, Connecticut at the outbreak of the Civil War.
At the age of 22, Morse was appointed Quartermaster General on the staff of Governor Buckingham. Two years later Morse was appointed Connecticut Adjutant General serving until the close of the war.
In 1862 Morse married Frances E. Trask and they had one boy and one girl named Charles Lewis Morse and Alice L. Morse. In 1868 he became a partner in A.M. Kidder & Co. Amor M. Kidder, who founded the firm in 1865 and was succeeded as senior partner by Morse. Horace J. Morse was an organizer and former vice president of the People’s Trust Company of Brooklyn.
Horace J. Morse died at the age of 92 on March 18, 1930, in Brooklyn, N.Y. after being ill for two months.
About the poem
“In the poem “A teenager’s prayer”, the poet J Morse is taking the place of a teenager to talk about their inner feeling. The central idea of the poem is a teenager’s desire to be able to make the right decisions that lead to success in life. The teenager requests the Lord to help guide him in his journey in life and stay with him as he has to take important decisions on a daily basis.
Here the poet speaks as if he is a teenager and wants to tell the condition of the mind of a teenager at a very delicate time of his life. The poet begins by saying that each new day will bring new beginnings; and he/she will have to make decisions as to which road he/she must walk on.
Structure of the poem
Each day brings new beginnings, Decisions I must make. I am the only one to choose from. The road that I will take. I can choose to take the road of life, That leads to great success Or travel down the darkened road, That leads to great distress. Please open up my eyes dear Lord, That I might clearly see Help me stand for what is right, Bring out the best in me. Help Lord just say "no" When Temptation comes my way, That I might keep my body clean And fit for life each day. When my teenage years are over, I know that I will see That life is lived it's very best With you walking next to me.
The poem uses simple words along with the abcb rhyme scheme. There are five stanzas each consists of four lines. There is the use of metaphors to express the poet’s thoughts. This poem conveys a teenager’s inner feelings beautifully.
Line By Line Analysis Of The Poem
Each day brings new beginnings, Decisions I must make. I am the only one to choose from. The road that I will take.
The poet says that each day is a new beginning and they have to firmly choose new decisions, irrespective of whether they are easy or difficult. They have to walk through the correct road.
I can choose to take the road of life, That leads to great success Or travel down the darkened road, That leads to great distress.
The poet talks about two paths one path can lead them to great success while the other path leads to distress. He says about the teenager’s dilemma to choose one among them.
Please open up my eyes dear Lord, That I might clearly see Help me stand for what is right, Bring out the best in me.
The third stanza is all about a teenager’s prayer to god. The teenager says to god to make him/her see things clearly. He/she says to make them wise enough to choose the correct path and also to give the strength to bring out the best in him/her.
Help Lord just say "no" When Temptation comes my way, That I might keep my body clean And fit for life each day.
He/she prays to god to make them stay away from the temptations or stop them from the temptations which can make him/her weak. He/she prays to god to make him/her strong, both physically and mentally.
When my teenage years are over, I know that I will see That life is lived it's very best With you walking next to me.
In the last stanza, the teenager who is looking into the future and making prayer to God says that he/she will be happy due to the success they achieve in their life. It would be only possible for the God who showed them the right path by listening to all their prayers and request.
•Alliteration:-the occurrence of the same letter or sound at the beginning of adjacent or closely connected words.
- Travel down the darkened road
•Metaphor:– a figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable.
- I can choose to take the road of life
•Inversion:-inversion is a reversal of normal word order, especially the placement of a verb ahead of the subject.
- Decisions, I must make
•Apostrophe:–punctuation mark, and sometimes a diacritical mark, in languages that use the Latin alphabet and some other alphabets.
- Please open up my eyes, dear Lord
The theme of the Poem
The poem “A Teenager’s Prayer” focuses on the teenager’s desire to be able to make the right decisions that lead to success in life. The teenager prays to God to help guide him/her in the journey in life and stay with him as he has to take important decisions in life.
The teenager wants to choose the right path that helps him keep his mind clean and avoid all temptations or roads that lead to distress. It is a beautiful poem that shows how a teenager wants to do the right thing and needs the Lord’s help to ensure he does not stray from his morals.