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Week 1 Whitman

by: Jona Martin

Week 1 Whitman 2360

Jona Martin
Texas State

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These are the notes over whitman
American Literature Since 1865
Jason R Coates
Class Notes
25 ?




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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Jona Martin on Saturday October 1, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to 2360 at Texas State University taught by Jason R Coates in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 5 views. For similar materials see American Literature Since 1865 in ENGLISH (ENG) at Texas State University.

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Date Created: 10/01/16
8/31 Watt Whitman: The poet of "American Experience"Words to describe Whitman's poetry to  a stranger:   Observing the world around him and reflecting what he sees  Imaginative  Eccentric  Trying to understand the world around him, Overwhelmed by senses  Metaphorical, figurative language, storytelling  Expressive vs. Lowell/Longfellow's calm and controlled poetry Whitman puts his poetry in a unique way of describing American culture and experiences.  Vocabulary  Persona/Speaker­ Point of view, not necessarily the author  Line­ The unit poets utilize to arrange sound, rhythm, and sense, logic, image, & etc.  to engage readers (and Listeners)  Stanza­ A collection of lines in a poem  Rhyme Scheme­ The aural pattern of a poem usually in conventional terms. Its like  a Shakespearian sonnet. Certain lines rhyme w/ other lines  o End rhyme­ when multiple lines share rhyme on the last word. (ex: slumbers and  numbers)  Anaphora­ repetition of a single word or phrase that begins or concludes a line  Conceit­ rooted in the extended metaphor, a comparison of two things that are  not similar. ( the "grass" with "external life") Section One Opening lines the speaker claims the "celebrate" himself and "sing" himself.  Whitman is imagined to be a narcissist and very egotistic.  We learn that he is 37 years old.  Taking on the task of a great American poet  Comes from a deep lineage of Americans In the second and third lines of the first stanza  He is trying to form a sense of unity with people  When he writes "Assume" he means to take power for responsibility for a certain role.  "We can celebrate and sing all of ourselves together. I am going to take many points of  view."  Assume: to take on many forms or points of view The concluding stanza solidifies self reliance. What does it communicate? "Creeds and schools in abeyance,  Retiring back a while sufficed at what they are, but never forgotten"  Relying on your own perceptions and experiences to find truth. Section 2 He compares the atmosphere to perfume. It is addictive, He is in love with it, Mad to be connected to it. It is TEMPTATION.  The perfume is tempting, but the atmosphere is freeing In the final stanza of section two, he reinforced his self reliance. "Stop this day and night with me and you shall possess the origin of all poems, You shall possess the good of the earth and sun, (there are millions of suns left,) You shall no longer take things at second or third hand, nor look through the eyes of the dead, nor feed on the spectres in books, You shall not look through my eyes either, nor take things from me, You shall listen to all sides and filter them from your self. "  Don't rely on what others tell to think. Don't be heavily influenced, trust and believe in yourself and in your own judgments. Section 6 He solidifies the grass as a key image. The grass in the poem takes on many forms. "Flag of my disposition" Suggests a connection w/ humans and nature. (nature reflects human emotion). There is some uniformity between the grass and himself, such as with atoms.  Grass is wild and uncontrollable, like Whitman's lines.  Compared to children, suggesting new growth/life  Uncut hair of graves  grass is democratic, growing underneath people of all races  Handkerchief of the Lord, equating nature w/ God Section 11 This is most widely noted for its sexual imagery. Has an attention for sexual desire.You can notice some homosexual tendencies. Whitman was experimenting with his sexual desires. He says he will "Assume" some things. Section 33 He has this grand vision of himself and he "assumes" various peoples, experience, and geography. It is important that he gives this detailed list of American life because the specific examples he gives allow the reader a broader perspective of America. He is showing the "many selves" instead of limiting the scope of the poem to himself. Section 48 Creates equal importance for the soul and the body. Why do you think the speaker equates the soul and the body?  Bridge the gap between the physical and the spiritual Why isn't the speaker curious about God? Where does the speaker find God?  God is in everything, and he is in the people.  The search for God is futile bc God is in the self & all people. Section 52 The final section returns some crucial images and ideas that were throughout the poem. What is a yawp? Why do you think the speaker describes his voice as a yawp?  Shows the importance and the urgency of the message and his voice  shows a level of self-awareness Why might the speaker call himself "untranslatable"?  Language only goes so far to express individual human experience.  His experiences are unique b/c he is unique What is Whitman trying to communicate to the reader?  Grass conceit, eternal life, he is forever present. The connection between nature and humans.


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