Essay On When I Heard The Learned Astronomer By Walt Whitman

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Nature was another major influence on Walt Whitman’s writing. He would often observe the world around him and those notes would be put into a poem. This fed into the concept of the transcendentalist movement, but was still a little different. Whitman wanted to explore this aspect of writing because of his love for nature and the whole world around him. In his poem, When I Heard the Learned Astronomer, Whitman shows the difference nature can make on an individual. Whitman writes, “When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me, / When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them, / When I sitting heard the astronomer where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room” (). The speaker, who could be Whitman himself, is in class learning about astronomy in a lecture room. He appears to be bored with what is going on and his mind becomes overwhelmed with what he is seeing. The speaker observes that everyone around him is interested in the class, but he is not. He decides to leave class to get some fresh air outside. Whitman continues this story by writing: “How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick, Till rising and gliding out I wander’d off by myself, In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time, Look’d up in …show more content…

While outside, he looks up to the stars and realizes that this is a real life example of what he was just being taught, however his class was not experiencing this at all. They were stuck learning about the stars while he was experiencing them. This shows Whitman’s affinity for nature. He tells his readers this story to illustrate the importance of nature and how everyone can learn from nature. The speaker uses real life examples of nature to learn about the stars while his classmates are just learning about it from a book. Real life and firsthand experiences are so much better than secondhand

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