Omnipresence of Whitman: Here-- Then and Now

1143 Words Jun 17th, 2018 5 Pages
Whitman is able to traverse both time and distance and connect with his readers, through the use of simple diction, as so few other poets can. His mastery of verbiage draws readers into the poem, and creates a poetic experience like no other. In “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry,” Whitman creates a vignette into the Brooklyn of the past, as he connects it to the present, in surprising ways. Omnipresence allows the reader to envision themselves in the settings created and to interpret them into modern language. Whitman connects with his readers in a fascinating and deeply personal ways, by creating a path through the cities of the past to the people of the present. Whitman’s mastery of language is apparent in the poem narrator’s ability to speak …show more content…
Whitman encourages his readers to internalize his words as completely as possible. Whitman states that he knew "what it [was] to be evil" (ln 72). By stating that he has knowledge of all experiences in life, even some which are undesirable including "hot wishes I dared not speak" (ln 76) and behavior befitting "the wolf, the snake, the hog," (ln 78) Whitman identifies with the dredges of humanity who may feel lost or unworthy of recognition because of their actions. The narrator may be guilty of these deviant activities, or he may simply have mentioned "evil" as part of a confession of a collective of guilt, which is yet another way of amalgamating his present to the future. Whitman was one in a nameless crowd playing "the part that still looks back on the actor or actress" (ln 86). The addressing of the readers continues on, though more directly than before. In the seventh chapter, Whitman asserts that "What thoughts you have of me now, I had as much of you" (ln 90). He is also informing his future readers than he is with them, "enjoying this . . . as good as looking at you now, for all you cannot see me" (ln 93-94), which parallels “Failing to fetch me at first keep encouraged,/Missing me one place search another,/I stop somewhere waiting for you,”(ln1341-1343) the closing lines of "Song of Myself." The spiritual nature of this “chapter” addresses the Christian believe in life-after-death. Though
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