From the poem "Opportunity" by Walter Malone:

Each morning gives thee wings to flee from hell,
Each night a star to guide thy feet to heaven.

What does "a star" symbolize here? Can anyone tell me the meanings of this verse?

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    There is a stack exchange Literature with questions of interpretation explictly on topic.
    – James K
    Apr 9, 2021 at 8:52

1 Answer 1


On a literal level, stars used to be commonly used for guidance and navigation (primarily on the sea, but also eg. by the three Wise Men in Christian tradition), so it's a natural example of "something to guide you somewhere".

Metaphorically, the star represents the titular opportunity. The message of the poem seems to be that you shouldn't dwell in mourning or regret, because every day gives you new chances to achieve something - new wings to flee from hell (an opportunity to escape the despair) and a new star to guide you to heaven (an opportunity to progress and move forward towards your goal).

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