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When I Heard The Learned Astronomer

744 words - 3 pages

Walt Whitman, was born on May 31, 1819, in Huntington on Long Island. While Whitman was young, his family was terribly poor and this was an unhappy thought he carried with him the rest of his life. At the age of eleven, he finished formal school and started looking for work in order to help his family pay the bills. Whitman found a decent job at a local printing press and began learning about the printing press. This job later helped him in his writing career. A few years later Whitman found a job as a schoolteacher, which led him to unhappiness. He knew this job wouldn’t suffice so he needed to make to changes. After he left his teaching job, he began writing editorials in local newspapers ...view middle of the document...

Whitman intentionally uses folksy speech patterns to throw off the reader. For instance, “learn`d” means really smart. The second line in the poem reads, “When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me”. This is basically a continuation of the first line. He goes on to tell the speaker what he is seeing. Again, Whitman uses terminology that is hard for the reader to understand. Two of those words are “proofed” and “ranged”. By the third line in the poem, the speaker seems somewhat confused. That being said, it as if the astronomer is giving the speaker some sort of private lesson about space. As one could tell, Whitman seems to be repeating himself line after line. Line four states, “When I, sitting, heard the astronomer, where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room” Mainly, this line is giving the reader a more vivid setting of what is going on in the poem. At this point, the speaker is frustrated that the poem is not letting one know what the astronomer is doing....

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