Imagery And Symbolism In Walt Whitman's 'To A Stranger'

541 Words3 Pages
In Walt Whitman's poem "To a Stranger" he is speaking to a passing stranger that he might know in another life. In the poem the speaker tells the reader of all the experiences that they had together. In the poem it says that they slept together and ate together, which means that they were once close. In the poem Walt Whitman uses imagery and symbolism. I believe that he is talking to a significant other. In the poem the reader does not know if it is a guy or girl. Walt Whitman writes "You grew up with me, were a boy or girl with me" (line 5), which could mean they were childhood friends. He speaks about their bodies and how he gave them his beard, breast and hands. This means they had a connection a long time ago or recently. He also speaks about how he cannot speak to them or about them, but he can…show more content…
He uses symbolism by not telling who the stranger is, he lets the reader decide who it is. He uses imagery when he says, "All Is recall'd as we flit by each other, fluid, affectionate, chaste, matured" (Line 4). This is an example of imagery because as a reader you can picture what's going on in his head. In the poem Walt Whitman says, "I have somewhere surely lived a life of joy with you,"(line 3) when he writes this he wants the reader to know that that he is either imagining a life with them or he did live a life with this stranger. When he says, "I ate with you and slept with you, your body has become not yours only nor left my body mine"(line 6). In the poem he is recalling everything they did together. Walt Whitman writes "You give me the pleasure of your eyes, face, flesh, as we past, you take of my beard, breast, hands in return" (line 7). When he says this, it is saying that he was once close to this person and he allowed them to touch his beard, breast and hands. This line could mean that he was talking about his significant other or just a passing

More about Imagery And Symbolism In Walt Whitman's 'To A Stranger'

Open Document