Walt Whitman’s poem When I heard the Learn’d Astronomer shows a moment which captures the beauty of self-reliance and non-conformity. In the poem, the speaker listens to a lecturer who speaks about astronomy through calculations and measurements. Being sick and tired of the lecture, the speaker wanders off outside to see the stars for himself and becomes struck in awe of the physical beauty of the stars. He also regains peace within himself after finding a new outlet for understanding. This idea
Katie Leutzinger December 11, 2017 ENG 228 On Wisdom and Knowledge Walt Whitman’s poem “When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer” seeks to provide a brief exploration of the contrast between wisdom and knowledge. Whitman uses numerous poetic devices and syllable stresses to conclude his intended theme of the poem. Along with the structure, he implements purposeful character and setting development within the eight lines of the poem. Although short in length, this work leaves much to be discovered.
poems often feature beauty as a motif, their approach to beauty changes throughout time. In the Restoration, William Shakespeare’s “Sonnet 18: Shall I compare Thee to a Summer’s Day?” and Ben Jonson’s A Celebration of Charis in Ten Lyric Pieces feature speakers that attempt to control beauty through their poetry. In the Romantic period, reflecting movements against the Industrial Revolution, William Wordsworth’s “She Dwelt among the Untrodden Ways” and Lord Byron’s “She Walks in Beauty” try to understand
boundaries created and truly be theirself in a free experience, which causes a person to live a life with their own will. Within the poems of Walt Whitman he discusses the significance between society vs nature. In the poem When I heard the Learn'd Astronomer the poem approaches the idea of nature vs society in a specific manner. In the poem when the poet says “I wandered off by myself,” the poet is relating again to the idea of nature. In this he is describing that nature is not something that is confined