Walt Whitman American Author & Poet About Term Paper

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Walt Whitman, American Author & Poet

About his Life:

Walt Whitman, an American poet was born on May 31, 1819 and a son of Long Island and the second son of Walter Whitman, a house builder, and Louisa Van Velsor. It was at the age of twelve Whitman began to learn the printer's trade, and become acquainted with the works of Homer, Dante, Shakespeare, and the Bible.

Then at the age of 17, in 1836, he started his career as a teacher in Long Island and continued until in 1841, he took journalism as a full-time career. In 1848, Whitman became editor of the New Orleans Crescent.

In the fall of 1848, he returned to Brooklyn, and founded a "free soil" newspaper, the Brooklyn Freeman, and continued to expand the distinctive style of poetry. However, it was in 855 that he took out a copyright and published the volume himself of the first edition of Leaves of Grass comprising of twelve untitled poems and a preface. In July 1855, a copy was sent to Emerson and then in 1856 released a second edition of the book that contained thirty-three poems, along with a letter from Emerson that admired the first edition. The book also contains his response in the form of a long open letter.

He also wrote freelance journalism and went to the wounded at New York-area hospitals and traveled in December 1862 to Washington, D.C. In order to care for his wounded brother and stayed there for eleven years. There he took a job as a clerk for the Department of the Interior. Whitman was a man who struggled to support himself through most of his life.

Finally, he spent his passing years working on additions and revisions for a new edition of the book along with the preparation for his final volume of poems and prose, Good-Bye, My Fancy. He died on March 26, 1892, and was buried in a tomb designed by him.

About His Poems and Work:

Leaves of Grass" was his first collection of poems, which was a continued effort, growing from the initial volume of 12 works published first in 1855 along with an edition of over three hundred works at the time of his death in 1892.

This collection is believed to be one of the world's most important literary works, which remain as a revolutionary development in poetry. It is Walt's liberated and open verse with rhythmic innovations that stands in clear contrast to the firm rhyming and structural example that was once considered to be vital to poetic expression.

His significant art was dense and complicated. Furthermore, There are in reality a number of features to Walt and his work that can be understood on many levels such as democrat, lover, classless, patriot, nature poet, meta physicist, exponent of spiritual values of restraint, equilibrium and patience and free spirit.

As for his poems, for instance, the subject material of "Leaves of Grass" is all comprehensive and extensive, from the individual to the universal, from the closeness to the extraterrestrial. He sings "Song of Myself," that speaks through his own experiences for the human race and for the universal harmony.

In "Drum Taps," deals with his response to the country's disturbing and shocking Civil War. However, in his another poem "Reconciliation, " he speaks of the final futility and uselessness of war: "For my enemy is dead, a man divine as myself is dead."

While his "Sea Drift" raises to maybe his most inspiring and moving moments, since the subject highlighted includes the universal theme of love and separation. Furthermore, in the opening poem, "Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking," has the theme of the powerful ocean referred to as the instrument of parting, while a gull's defeat of its companion indicate a tragedy of life such that first love and first loss played out on a vast scale.

Coming to "Passage to India," its about a sailing voyage that later becomes a symbol for the journey of the soul through time and place and a clear view of his values:

we can wait no longer! We too take ship, O soul!" In "Song of the Open Road"

Henceforth I ask not good-fortune; Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing, Strong and content, I travel the open road."

He was an outgoing and sociable man who loved life, and who knew how to have a good time. His work is less a rational discussion than it is an impulsive expression of emotion.

However, at times, Whitman did not reach for cosmic, transcendental levels, but he rather dealt with the fundamental and suggest on a purely emotional level. For instance, his daring feelings about love and sexuality is evident in poems like "A Woman Waits for Me" and "Once I Walked

About His Music:

Through a Populous City" found in "Children of Adam" are completely extraordinary in the background of the Victorian society where the author himself lived.

He further wrote in a similar form to "thought-rhythm," which is found in Old Testament poetry and in sacred books of India for example, the Bhagavad-Gita, of which he knew the translation.

In addition, his rhythms as well as tempo are deeply influenced by the music he heard as a usual devotee of the opera in New York City. Thus, in his "Proud Music of the Storm" he sings:

Composers! Mighty maestros! And you, sweet singers of old lands-Sopani! Tenori! Bassi! To you a new bard, caroling free in the west, Obeisant, sends his love."

According to him, all these influences are combined with nature's influence in the manner of the rise and fall of the sea he loved a lot.

Finally, the musical nature of his poetry is also evident in the fact that none of his poetry has been set to music more often than Whitman's. Starting from Vaughan Williams to Delius and Holst, Hindemith to Sessions and Rorem, the list is enormously rich and diverse.

Thus, one may say that the universal charm of this warm hearted, romantic and loving creative intellect is influential and indisputable.

The Selected Poem

The Soul, reaching, throwing out for love,

Paraphrase of 1st Stanza:

As the spider, from some little promontory,

Throwing out filament after filament,

Tirelessly out of itself,

That one at least may catch and form a link, bridge, a connection

Here the author symbolizes soul as a spider from a cape giving out his thread after thread symbolizing it as a human who untiringly of himself keep trying so that he may be able to make some connection or in other words a life- line.

Paraphrase of 2nd Stanza:

saw one passing along,

Saying hardly a word -- yet full of love detected him, by certain signs, eyes wishfully turning!

A silent eyes!

The author symbolizes eyes searching for love as seen by the spider to which it also seems to be as quite and full of love.

Paraphrase of 3rd Stanza:

For then I thought of you o'er the world, latent oceans, fathomless oceans of love!

A waiting oceans of love!

Yearning and fervid! And of you sweet souls

The author says here to the spider that he thinks of it over the world and then refers to the hidden oceans, which are full of love, and is waiting and longing for the love to come by to it.

Paraphrase of 4th Stanza:

Perhaps in the future, delicious and long:

But Death, unknown on the earth

Un-given, dark here, unspoken, never born:

You fathomless latent souls of love

You pent and unknown oceans of love!

Finally the author says that though the life is short & unknown on earth yet there may be a chance in the future and humans as symbolized as a spider refers to the oceans full love and emotions and is longing and hidden soul searching for right love.

Analysis of the Poem

The poem "The Soul, reaching, throwing out for love" by Walt Whitman's narrate the tale of human character aiming for finding love. This free-form poem is joined together by its theme, and in a thoughtfully moving and emotional tone, with its poetic words conveying feeling as casual as the thought process itself. Thus, the poem features personal sacrifice, along with its difficulties, and the souls inborn wish for love.

Furthermore, the poet signifies love as being more necessary need than physical or social, and this necessity is more required in some intense and deeper manner to the soul's very continued existence. Even if love is intangible and elusive, merely the effort to obtain this precious gift is crucial in lending purpose to the soul's existence.

Since upon reading first, the poetry seems to be open-form. Therefore, it has no verse or distinct meter. For instance, the repetition of the "O" at the start of some lines has tragic sound to it.

Moreover, the rhythm of the poem is suggestive of the Ocean, deafening and falling wildly and as unavoidably as the…[continue]

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