When I Heard The Learn D Astronomer Literary Devices

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“In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time, Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.” I read the poem, When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer, by Walt Whitman. In first person Whitman writes an exquisite piece that is short, but very powerful. It contains a powerful statement to scholars and follows ideas of transcendentalism. The poem’s message was influential and its mechanics were masterfully put. The basic premise of the poem is this; Whitman sits in a room listening to an astronomer talk about analyzing and measuring the stars. He soon grows tired of this and walks outside to admire the stars in their own sheer beauty. Whitman put into words the conflict of men and nature transcendentalists had at the time. He subtly suggested that scientists spend too much time examining pieces of data from the natural world and that they should just admire the earth’s beauty. Other poets at the time such as Thoreau and Emerson shared the beliefs that men should be one with nature. This theme of admiring…show more content…
Right away I noticed the alliteration in the ninth line when he says, “In the mystical moist night-air.” I also noticed that there was no consistent rhyme scheme of meter. He uses several instances of repetition when he repeats, “When,” at the start of each line in the beginning of the piece. One of the other more refined parts to the poem was his transition between each half. In the first half he uses jerky and choppy words, which creates the image of a boring data-based lecture. In the second half he begins to utilize his flowing, fluid poetic verse. He uses descriptive language that conveys the beauty and elegance of the stars at which he is looking. The reader contracts an emotional connection to the splendor of these stars, making this instance of Whitman’s mechanics exceptionally successful. Despite his unique free-form verse, the poem reads well and goes off the tongue

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