Questions tagged [walt-whitman]

Questions about the works of the American poet, essayist and journalist Walt Whitman (1819 – 1892) and his life as a writer. He is best known for this poetry collection 'Leaves of Grass'.

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What did Walt Whitman mean by "a pennant universal"?

(Edit: This was closed because it was marked as "opinion based" and I was asked to edit the question so that it could be answered by facts and citations. @Fumblefingers gave citations, ...
sysmod's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
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What is the name of this op-ed/essay/newspaper article written by Walt Whitman

It's very hard to find this essay/op-ed Whitman wrote because it's not included in Leaves of Grass and Google keyword searches always prioritize sites which discuss Leaves of Grass. Whitman wrote an ...
bobsmith76's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
332 views

What does Walt Whitman mean by the last two lines in his poem, "The Voice of the Rain"?

Here's Walt Whitman's poem "The Voice of the Rain" And who art thou? said I to the soft-falling shower, Which, strange to tell, gave me an answer, as here translated: I am the Poem of Earth,...
Shane's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
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Was Whitman the first poet to write in sentence fragments?

One aspects of some modern poets is that they sometimes write sentences without main verbs or no main verb in the main clause. I'm not talking about interjections or sentences where an implied 'be' ...
bobsmith76's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
242 views

What did Edmund Gosse mean by “servers of pillows to all armholes”?

In a 1907 letter to Walt Whitman’s biographer Bliss Perry, Edmund Gosse wrote: I came across your really delightful volume on Walt Whitman,† and read it with such pleasure that I had to review it ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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What does "balks account" mean in Walt Whitman's "I Sing the Body Electric"?

Walt Whitman's poem "I Sing the Body Electric" is a sort of celebration of the human body. A phrase that recurs a few times is "balks account": The love of the body of man or ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
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Searching for a Whitman quote

I am looking for a quote attributed to Walt Whitman with the following approximate meaning: Finding faults with others requires a bit of ability, but stopping yourself from abusing that information ...
Maesumi's user avatar
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7 votes
2 answers
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Understanding two lines from "The Wound-Dresser" by Walt Whitman

Among the hospital poems, "The Wound-Dresser" by Walt Whitman is one of the best and finest. I wonder if anybody here can help me to understand two lines of this piece. But in silence, in dreams’ ...
Connoisseur's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
420 views

Meaning of "tally" in Whitman's "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d"

From "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d" by Walt Whitman: To the tally of my soul, Loud and strong kept up the gray-brown bird, With pure deliberate notes spreading filling the night. ...
Connoisseur's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
101 views

Some Problem about Whitman's Language

O western orb sailing the heaven, Now I know what you must have meant as a month since I walk’d, As I walk’d in silence the transparent shadowy night, As I saw you had something to tell ...
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2 votes
0 answers
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What does Walt Whitman mean by "going in for my chances"?

From "Song of Myself" by Walt Whitman: What is commonest, cheapest, nearest, easiest, is Me, Me going in for my chances, spending for vast returns, Adorning myself to bestow myself on the first ...
Connoisseur's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
562 views

"inlooped flags" in Whitman's poem

What is the meaning of "inlooped flags" in a poem of Whitman (When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd)? He is describing the Lincoln funeral: Coffin that passes through lanes and streets, ...
Connoisseur's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
703 views

Savantism by Whitman

The poem I'm trying to understand the following poem by Whitman, called Savantism. THITHER, as I look, I see each result and glory retracing itself and nestling close, always obligated; ...
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2 votes
0 answers
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Whitman's idea of democracy

There are two lines which disturbs me a little on One's self I sing from Whitman. It reads: One's self I sing, a simple separate person, Yet utter the word Democratic, the word En-Masse. Does it ...
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4 votes
1 answer
2k views

What does it mean to ask 'what is the subject of this poem'?

I read a poem called "Vigil Strange I ept on the field one night" by Walt Whitman (reproduced below). One question I was asked about this poem is 'what is the subject of this poem?' For my ...
hzzy's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
855 views

Usage of the word "spheres" in "A Noiseless Patient Spider"

I do have an idea of what Whitman is telling in the last stanza and the whole poem but what confuses me is the usage of the word "spheres" in the second stanza of "A Noiseless Patient Spider". A ...
Lucifer -'s user avatar
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6 votes
2 answers
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What does "atomies" mean here?

In Walt Whitman's The Voice of the Rain from his book Leaves of Grass, he writes: I descend to lave the droughts, atomies, dust-layers of the globe... What does "atomies" mean here? I could ...
ditsuke's user avatar
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11 votes
1 answer
4k views

Who is the speaker in "O Captain! My Captain!"

In "O Captain! My Captain!" by Walt Whitman, the speaker acts as if he has a close connection to Abraham Lincoln, saying: My father does not feel my arm This suggests that they are in such ...
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