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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In When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer, Walt Whitman employs diction, syntax, and pace in order to communicate and develop the main idea of the poem: that any technical understanding or observation of nature, or the Universe, is inferior to one of impassioned experience. Although short, the poem has changes and movement that can be traced throughout. Largely a discussion on the sublime, the poem is immersive and engaging, as well as clear in its message. Most notable is the pedantic image of the astronomer in the lecture hall. Whitman uses mechanical lists of mathematical argot with, portraying a tone of dispassion and monotony and impressing this upon the reader.
Whitman revised his book, Leaves of Grass nine times from 1855 to 1891. Originally containing nine editions, it grew into about 400 in the span of thirty-six years. Because of his obsession over his work, it is evident that he was a perfectionist and too proud to forget about his original submissions. Therefore, he continued to revise them as his skills progressed. It was no secret that Whitman saw the world differently than others, admiring little details and showing appreciation towards things any other person would not think twice about.
One of Whitman’s most famous poems was “O Captain! My Captain!” and he was inspired to write it by the death of Abraham Lincoln, despite the fact that, as far as anyone can tell, they had “never paused for a proper conversation.” (McCarter 4). Whitman was one of the, if not the, first poets to write about both science and religion.
Also, some of his poems are scientific and philosophical. For example, “On the Beach at Night Alone” here he talks about the universe and about life/nature. One verse from this poem caught my attention, “A vast similitude interlocks all, All spheres, grown, ungrown, small, large, suns, moons, planets, All distances of place however wide, All distances of time, all inanimate forms, All souls, all living bodies though they be ever so different, or in different worlds.” Here Whitman described the philosophy of the universe. Where he said, All spheres, grown, ungrown, small, large, suns, moons, planets, here he’s referring to the ever-vast universe that all the time new planets, suns, and moons are being created and destroyed.
Walt Whitman was an American Poet who had wrote the groundbreaking poetry collection Leaves of Grass. Leaves of Grass is a collection of poems written in the nineteenth century. Beginning with twelve poems and ending with four-hundred, Whitman constantly revised his work. In Leaves of Grass, Walt Whitman’s primary focus was to express, explore, and celebrate his own self, personality, and individuality. Secondly, he wanted to applaud democracy and the American nation with its accomplishments and potential.
The Romantics influenced Walt Whitman, with his writing by emphasizing on emotions, valuing introspection and demonstrating a value of individuality. Walt tell Americans in his great writing about his view about valuing individuality by explaining when he says, “I resist anything, better than my own diversity, Breathe the air but leave plenty after me, And am not stuck up, and am in my place. (The moth and the fish-eggs are in their place, The bright suns I see and the dark suns I cannot see are in their place, The palpable is in its place and the impalpable is in its place.) (155) This demonstration is when a child asked a question; he answers the question in trying to want the child to understand. He wanted his own opinions not to reflect
From his parent’s upbringing, Walt received a love for democracy and his country (“Walt Whitman”, 2017). This passion can be seen in various pieces of his literature as they reflect his portrayal of American Justice. At a young age, Whitman was taken out of school to work where he eventually became an educator and encountered his passion for writing and journalism (“Walt Whitman”, 2018). One of his first and most popular works is his poetry book called “Leaves of Grass” (“Walt Whitman”, 2017). At the time, “Leaves of Grass” was a controversial piece of literature in the U.S due to its unconventional style and eccentric style of writing (“Walt Whitman”,
"When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer" is about the narrator retelling a day sitting through an astronomy lecture, listening to the educated astronomer's dull mathematical explanations of the stars through charts and diagrams. In the middle of the lecture the narrator becomes sick and tired and strolls off to quietly look at the beautiful stars. In the first half of the poem Whitman uses dry words to reflect the mood of the classroom. However, at the end of the poem Whitman uses more striking words to reflect the thrilling turn of events. The narrator is struck by the beauty of the stars and night sky.
Whitman was one of the founders of American Literature some things would not stand today without him. he really tried to get away from the writing styles of other countries. The “americanness” of whitman’s work and spirit needs to be questioned, however, considering the situation whitman faced as an aspiring writer in the just developing American literary scene. Indeed, whitman did not live long enough to see his country fully embrace his work; according to Mr. Wilson Allen, whitman was only truly absorbed by americans when the centennial of the 1855 Leaves of Grass was celebrated.
This suggests that Whitman viewed nature as something divine. Romantics are typically inspired by nature and Whitman’s poetry shows that he finds understanding in the world of nature. He also related nature to cycles of life. In “A child said, What is the grass?” the narrator says that the grass also seems like “the beautiful uncut hair of graves” (line 19)
Everyone has a moment in life we they feel that they are not the person they were before that after that moment they will be forever changed whether it be during a heartbreak a celebration or just a going through a rough time it is important to realize that when you read this poem you become changed; for its message is universal and is so relatable. Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself touches on so many aspects of humanity that when you try to compare this works you often find people who share the same views that he had. For instance, we see so many sides to Walt as he expresses himself in his writing much like the musical artists of today like Lady Gaga, Pink Floyd, and David Bowie these artist each convey one of his many messages that his poem
Poetry is an extremely expressive form of art, and Walt Whitman truly takes the cake for expressiveness. Walter Whitman, born May 31, 1819, can be credited as the father of free verse. With no formal education, all of Whitman’s poems and work are accredited to him and his experiences. He came from a large family with eight siblings and an alcoholic father, but managed to keep a positive view on life, as shown by some of his later works (Chase 334). Whitman was a man of many jobs, from carpentry to journalism, but his most important was working as a volunteer nurse on the front of World War I, as the front lines of war only fueled his patriotism.
Furthermore, Walt Whitman was a great man of pedagogy, which can be seen in Song of Myself and “Leaves of Grass”. First, Walt Whitman approached every question with a deeper level of thinking. Whitman once said, “How could I answer the child? I do not know what it is any more than he.”
Walt Whitman’s poems in his book, “Leaves of Grass” are very interesting because of the amount of descriptive details that he uses throughout his works. When read out loud, I was really able to imagine what Whitman was writing about at certain points. For example, in describing grass in Poem number 6, Whitman describes it as, “This grass is very dark to be from the white heads of old mothers, darker than the colorless beards of old men, dark to come from under the faint red roofs of mouths” (1397). This description from Whitman gives us a much deeper detailed description of grass than we would usually think of it as by receiving sensory details from these lines. These sensual poems by Whitman goes to show the great detail he used in writing his poems and also shows the difference these sensory details make for his poems.