Walt Whitman's When I Heard The Learn D Astronomer

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Walt Whitman was, and is, one of America’s greatest poets; despite his rocky start. At the beginning of Whitman’s poetic career, many people did not like his writings. Although, later in his career, his audiences realized the brilliance of his poetry. The most influential reason of why people weren’t fond of his poetry is, Walt Whitman was very radical. He had radical viewpoints on education and self, which is what caused many of his readers to disagree with his writings. Julia Devarhi suggests, “Whitman believed in the individual and felt that the inner strength of a human being could be utilized and manipulated into something meritorious.” His most radical view of education dealt with his pedagogy, which is to say, the function or work of…show more content…
One of his poems that very well explains this point is,”When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer.” A line from that text states, “How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick, Till rising and gliding out I wander’d off by myself, in the mystical moist night air, and from time to time, Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.” The text simply explains a situation in which a student gets tired of learning astronomy by just hearing lectures and observing charts and other paperwork, so he decides to go out and physically observe the outdoors; this is where the student begins to truly learn. Scott Trudell states in his critical essay, "’When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer’ presents a speaker who is distanced from the unity of all things, and who is admonishing and discontent in his observations about the world around him.” Whitman very much believed in hands-on experience as a beneficial learning method because he realizes that not all students learn the same way. This idea still lives in modern day schools; teachers are encouraged to not only teach from the textbook, lectures, handouts, but also visual aids and hands-on experiences. For example, in science classes students are assigned labs because some things are better learned by showing with personal hands-on experience rather than by a teacher lecturing. Clearly,…show more content…
As a teacher he wanted to teach his students how to become proficient, but also taught them they had to continue on with their education by themselves. “Song of Myself” #46 says, “Not I, not anyone else can travel that road for you, you must travel it for yourself.” By this quote, you can assume Whitman realized that every individual has to live their live by themselves, another person can’t live your life for you. He realized that in the end, we are all alone, we have to do things all alone. That is why he was in favor for individualism is because he realized these vital ideas in his life. Obviously, Whitman was a huge supporter of

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