He started his writing career as a journalist, and he contributed to two Brooklyn newspapers, the and Brooklyn Freeman, the latter of which he founded in 1848. In case we thought he was this happy every day, he points out that he often has dark thoughts and has committed evil acts. When I watch that flowing river, which, out of regions I see not, pours for a season its streams into me, I see that I am a pensioner; not a cause, but a surprised spectator of this ethereal water; that I desire and look up, and put myself in the attitude of reception, but from some alien energy the visions come. The omnipresence of Whitman allows the reader to envision themselves into the settings he created- and… 1271 Words 6 Pages The American Dream establishes a journey to achieve a goal in order to start a new life. But throughout reading this poem that is what I really took away as the main idea. He had nine siblings including him, he was also the son of Walter Whitman who was a house builder and Louisa van veils or was his mother. Throb, baffled and curious brain! Whitman had an optimistic vision for a democratic, egalitarian America, and Crossing Brooklyn Ferry speaks emphatically, if indirectly, to a vision that we feel is particularly relevant today.
What the push of reading could not start, is started by me personally, is it not? Gaze, loving and thirsting eyes, in the house, or street, or public assembly! In the process, the poet traces an increasingly wide circle connecting himself to his fellow passengers, his fellow New Yorkers, his readers, and, by the end, pretty much everyone. In this crowd he brings together all of the strangers and finds a connection. In The Historic Whitman, edited by Joseph Jay Rubin. If he is connected to generations of the past as well as those of the future through what he is seeing, then the man-made elements would not have been present. Speaker and reader merge by means of a trick of tense. On the ferry-boats the hundreds and hundreds that cross, returning home, are more curious to me than you suppose, And you that shall cross from shore to shore years hence are more to me, and more in my meditations, that you might suppose. Thus, at the end of the poem, Whitman addresses himself to material objects, which are also part of the life process because they are useful to man.
At the beginning of the poem, the speaker remarks that many have completed this journey before him and many will travel this route after he is gone. Land symbolizes the physical; water symbolizes the spiritual. He has learned to quell his desire to sin as if he is an actor playing a part, just like most of the people he passes on the street. By using these devices, Whitman shakes his audience with the convincing notion that life as it is normally perceived is not important. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press. He thinks about all the people who have made this journey in the past and how many are yet to repeat it long into the future. The speaker also creates a tide like motion when he keeps moving from past to present to future and back again giving that back and forth motion to the actuality of the poem.
Just as you feel when you look on the river and sky, so I felt, Just as any of you is one of a living crowd, I was one of a crowd, Just as you are refreshed by the gladness of the river and the bright flow, I was refreshed, Just as you stand and lean on the rail, yet hurry with the swift current, I stood yet was hurried, Just as you look on the numberless masts of ships and the thick-stemmed pipes of steamboats, I looked. We've let them get away from us in the past, but no more! So power down your iPod, put down that morning paper, and take a cue from this poem. He lists the aspects of his surroundings, lists, the evil thoughts he has had and the sinful acts he has committed, and, at the very end of the poem, he lists the characteristics of his environment. He says that it is the physical world that binds us all together and allows us to know our own souls. Theme, imagery, rhythm, and symbolism work together to a degree that Whitman rarely achieved, and the poem has a formal quality without sacrificing freshness. Whitman tells readers that they must not only observe the democratic life but they must become one with it.
Flaunt away, flags of all nations! We must revel in our physical surroundings, for our relationship with our environment is the ticket to achieving spirituality and fulfillment. . But in the poem he addresses not an imaginary companion on a contemporary stroll but the generations who will come long after him. The reason they are so popular from the Romanticism period is because they also incorporated their transcendental ideas into their work. The impalpable sustenance of me from all things, at all hours of the day; The simple, compact, well-join'd scheme--myself disintegrated, every one disintegrated, yet part of the scheme: The similitudes of the past, and those of the future; The glories strung like beads on my smallest sights and hearings--on the walk in the street, and the passage over the river; The current rushing so swiftly, and swimming with me far away; 10 The others that are to follow me, the ties between me and them; The certainty of others--the life, love, sight, hearing of others. This makes him significant as an individual but also part of a larger whole. Likewise, in the future they are bound to change.
The poet is on the bank, and he observes the ferry as well as the passengers, whom he expands to symbolize the large united self of mankind. New York: Rowman and Littlefield, 1961. The rest of section 3 goes on to describe more things affected by the light. Anywhere, especially at your local public library, in your poetry club or reading group, with your students, or in Times Square. This kind of relates to question 3, which asks about section 7.
But of course, unlike these mythic ferries, which bring the dead one way only, Whitman's Brooklyn ferry goes back and forth and can carry the same people—or their descendants—in either direction. They lived in Brooklyn and Long Island in the 1820s and the 1830s. Who knows but I am enjoying this? This first section establishes the setting of the poem. The idea of transcendence is here extended to that of transcending over time to make one's being connected to those of the people of the future. Living his life to the fullest and cherishing the things that he did for himself gave him an identity.
He talks about how future generations will stand in the same places he has and see many of the same sights; which shows a physical connection between him and future generations. Then he goes well beyond doubts to a litany of human frailties and failings, all of which, he tells the reader, he was as subject to as anyone. The ferry moves on, from a point of land, through water, to another point of land. He reaches back to acknowledge the past and look forward to greet the wonderful future. The coming together of these men and women symbolizes the spiritual unity of men in this world. The solution represents all spiritual life from which physical life emerges. This journey of the spirit can take place easily in a universe which is harmonious and well adjusted.
Just as you feel when you look on the river and sky, so I felt; Just as any of you is one of a living crowd, I was one of a crowd; Just as you are refreshd by the gladness of the river and the bright flow, I was refreshd; Just as you stand and lean on the rail, yet hurry with the swift current, I stood, yet was hurried; Just as you look on the numberless masts of ships, and the thick-stemd pipes of steamboats, I lookd. It is not you alone, nor I alone; Not a few races, nor a few generations, nor a few centuries; It is that each came, or comes, or shall come, from its due , From the general centre of all, and forming a part of : Everything indicatesthe smallest does, and the largest does; A necessary film envelopes all, and envelopes the Soul for a proper time. The speaker offers some details about the rest of his routine - living in Brooklyn and working in Manhattan. Another striking feature of his style is the manipulation of tense. The speaker identifies with everything and says the our physical body is the key to our identity.
On the ferry-boats, the hundreds and hundreds that cross, returning home, are more curious to me than you suppose; And you that shall cross from shore to shore years hence, are more to me, and more in my meditations, than you might suppose. He ties the concept of the river to the idea of passing time which, both of which, continually progresses. If he claims that we will see what he sees, then we must, in some sense, be the same person-so that ultimately it doesn't matter whose head he sees there in the water. The Lunar Light of Whitman's Poetry. In response to question 2, I believe that Whitman is trying to say that however many years in the future, will still have a connection to him. He may have felt that the ferry linked him to ancient myths of immortality and that the bridge was an unnecessary distraction.