Of Walt Whitman's A Sight In Camp In The Daybreak Gray And Dim

1503 Words7 Pages
Romanticism was a movement in the 18th century that was a response to the Enlightenment, which was the movement that stated that everything should be based on facts and reason. Romanticism stated that feelings and emotions are just as important as reason and logic in understanding everything in the world (Romanticism Movement, n.d.). Romanticism strongly affected the writings of Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson and can be seen in the poems “A Sight in Camp in the Daybreak Gray and Dim” (Whitman, 1867), “O Me! O Life!” (Whitman, 1867), and “Tell all the truth but tell it Slant” (Dickinson, n.d.).
“A Sight in Camp in the Daybreak Gray and Dim” was written by Walt Whitman during the Civil War around 1861 (Norman and Allen, 2017). During that time,
…show more content…
Oh Life!” is a poem written by Walt Whitman that describes Whitman’s struggle in figuring out what his purpose on earth is. The poem’s first line states “Oh me! Oh life! of the questions of these recurring,” (1) In this line, Whitman is showing that he is questioning what he is doing with his life and what it’s grand purpose is. The next line states “Of the endless trains of the faithless, of cities fill’d with the foolish,” (2) in this line, Whitman is explaining how he is constantly surrounded by people who do not understand who he is or what he wants. The poem continues with the next line that states, “Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I, and who more faithless?)” (3). Whitman is talking about how he is not faithful or smart enough to judge other people for their flaws. The next line states “Of eyes that vainly crave the light, of the objects mean, of the struggle ever renew’d,” (4) This line means that people selfishly seek out worldly possessions and that this occurrence seems to be a never-ending cycle in the world. The next line states “Of the poor results of all, of the plodding and sordid crowds I see around me,” (5) Whitman is saying that he sees countless people and yet, they are each boring or immoral and have nothing to show for their life. The poem continues with the line “Of the empty and useless years of the rest, with the rest me intertwined,” (6) this line means that Whitman feels as if he wasted so much of his life…show more content…
The poem starts with the lines “Tell all the truth but tell it slant —, Success in Circuit lies” (1-2) this line means that society always tells the truths in halves and in these half-truths societies thrives. The next line states “Too bright for our infirm Delight, The Truth's superb surprise” (3-4) In these lines, Emily explains that if the whole truth were to be revealed to society it would ruin people’s pride and then eventually the entire truth will be revealed. The next lines state “As Lightning to the Children eased, With explanation kind” (5-6) Emily explains that if the truth, or lightning, were to strike down on society, it would hurt the person’s feelings so, instead the truth is told nicely, just like someone would tell a child that their pictures look great. The last lines of the poem state “The Truth must dazzle gradually, Or every man be blind—” (7-8). Emily explains in these last lines that society needs the truth to make them feel content and if it does not, then they will turn a blind eye to it. “Tell all the truth but tell it slant” is about how society is so, arrogant they cannot handle any negative truth. Everyone has to step around the negative aspects of others in order to spare any feelings that could possibly become hurt. Emily Dickinson is frustrated by this view that society has and wishes to change it. Both Emily and Romanticism believe

More about Of Walt Whitman's A Sight In Camp In The Daybreak Gray And Dim

Open Document