What Is the Meaning of the Poem "One Solitary Life"?


Quick Answer

"One Solitary Life" is a poem that describes the life of Jesus Christ according to the bible and illustrates the importance of the life of one man who had no credentials by modern standards. Dr. James Allan Francis wrote the poem in 1926.

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Full Answer

The first stanza of the poem describes the beginning of Jesus' life. He was "born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman" and grew up as a carpenter in another village. The next stanza lists things that Jesus did not do. He never wrote a book, held office, attended college or visited a large city. The point of this stanza is to illustrate that an accomplished person, by today's standards, needs to complete at least one of these things to have credentials, while Jesus, one of the most important people in Christianity, did none of them.

The next two stanzas describe the circumstances of Jesus' death. At only 33 years of age, he was given "a mockery of a trial," put on a cross between thieves and buried in a borrowed grave. The fifth and sixth stanzas remark that, although the events of his life may seem lowly, Jesus, the man with few modern accomplishments who was put to death by the government, has had more of an effect on the world than any other who makes a claim to greatness.

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