Walt Whitman Is A Master Of Words And A Capable Commander

833 WordsSep 15, 20164 Pages
Walt Whitman was born on May 31, 1819. By the age of twelve “Whitman began to learn the printer’s trade, and fell in love with the written word,” (“Walt Whitman” 1). Later he found employment in journalism. He worked at different newspapers and founded one of his own; a weekly paper called the Long-Islander. In 1855 he began publishing his poetry and today is known as “America’s world poet,” (“Walt Whitman” 1). Whitman is a master of words and a capable commander in chief of the English vernacular. This ability to create masterpieces in just a few lines is evident in a poem he published in 1865 entitled When I Heard The Learn’d Astronomer. By employing vocabulary that has an immense amount of meaning he is able to bring the page to life and bring meaning to an inconsequential occurrence. The first word that candidly confronts you is “learn’d”. It appears in the title and is the fifth word in the poem. The word “learn’d”, especially with the spelling he chose, conveys much more than it’s literal definition. According to the Oxford Reference Online database, it means “Having great learning in the law.” The Merriam Webster Dictionary expands that definition slightly, by stating its definition as “having or showing a lot of learning, education, or knowledge — used to describe something that people get or have because of learning or experience.” He uses the abbreviated term “learn’d” to let the reader know that the professor is knowledgeable in his field but also to convey

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