To a stranger walt whitman. To A Stranger By Walt Whitman 2022-10-15
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To a Stranger by Walt Whitman is a poem that explores the idea of human connection and the ways in which we relate to one another. The poem begins with the speaker addressing a stranger, or someone they have never met before, and expressing their desire to connect with them in some way.
Whitman uses vivid imagery and descriptive language to convey the sense of wonder and curiosity that the speaker feels towards the stranger. He writes, "I think I could turn and live with animals, they are so placid and self-contain'd, / I stand and look at them long and long." This passage captures the sense of longing and curiosity that the speaker feels towards the stranger, as if they are observing an exotic and unknown creature.
Despite the fact that the speaker and the stranger are strangers, Whitman suggests that there is a deep sense of connection between them. He writes, "We are not enemies, we are not aliens, we are brothers and sisters." This line suggests that despite the fact that the speaker and the stranger are strangers, they are also deeply connected to one another as human beings.
Throughout the poem, Whitman uses various metaphors and symbols to convey the idea of human connection. He compares the stranger to a leaf, suggesting that they are both part of a larger, interconnected whole. He also compares the stranger to a "travelling shower," suggesting that they are both fleeting and temporary, but also essential to the larger ecosystem of life.
In the final stanza of the poem, Whitman returns to the theme of human connection and the ways in which we relate to one another. He writes, "I think I could turn and live with animals, they are so placid and self-contain'd, / I stand and look at them long and long." This passage captures the sense of longing and curiosity that the speaker feels towards the stranger, as if they are observing an exotic and unknown creature.
Overall, To a Stranger by Walt Whitman is a powerful and thought-provoking poem that explores the idea of human connection and the ways in which we relate to one another. Through vivid imagery and descriptive language, Whitman conveys the sense of wonder and curiosity that the speaker feels towards the stranger, and suggests that despite our differences, we are all deeply connected as human beings.
To A Stranger By Walt Whitman
How does Whitman describe the connection the speaker shares with the stranger? The sight of this person stimulates the speaker to reflect on the meaning of acquaintance, friendship, intimacy, and identity. This shows how social norms and individual circumstances affect potential actions and relationships. In the last three lines, the repetition serves another purpose. In the seventh line, the speaker anticipates how the other person would have felt after the encounter. The passing stranger becomes an object of desire who can evoke all earlier objects, recall the past, and promise a future. One just requires the eyes to see, the heart to feel, and an open mind to make strangers their close acquaintances.
Walt Whitman: Poems “To a Stranger” Summary and Analysis
It was as if human beings were drifting apart from one another. A stranger is only seen as such due to the sociological circumstances of urbanization. The speaker and the stranger share the inherent beauty within themselves when they pass one another. It is an important feature since the poem is addressed to readers who are strangers to the poet. Years later, Wendell Berry simultaneously echoed Whitman and demurred from him.
We are to look at strangers in the same way we would a neighbor in an age before the great sprawl of urban centers rearranged our ways of living. Leave a Reply Your email address will not be published. If he is fortunate enough to find a strong connection like that again in life, he will try his best not to lose the precious person for a second time around. Reading the final passage in this way transforms the statement about being sure that he will see this person again into a statement about the fact that urban centers, such as New York City, will continue to create encounters between people who are strangers to each other; will continue to be shared by people who do not know anything about each other. But in terms of the very categories we use for understanding fellow human beings. It is a very tightly joined narrative of encounter and desire.
Robert K. Martin, "To a Stranger 1860" (Criticism)
Born on Long Island, Whitman worked as a journalist, a teacher, a government clerk, and a volunteer nurse during the American Civil War in addition to publishing his poetry. People wore masks and were no longer close; they did not establish meaningful and truthful relationships. He puts forward a question on the effect of surroundings on human relationships and how one can immensely influence the other. We need a conceptual distinction between a neighbor and stranger, sure, but if our view and posture toward strangers is characterized by seeing them as ultimately other , we have misunderstood an extrinsic change as an intrinsic one. Yet we cross each other as strangers without exchanging a single word of mere greeting. With that said, he is not writing Walden. Although the poem somewhat self-consciously tries to universalize its erotic desire by adding a feminine alternative in two lines "You must be he I was seeking, or she I was seeking" , it is clearly written in celebration of urban male desire.
He expresses the belief that he and this stranger whose gender remains undefined know each other from another life. During the 19th-century, American society was undergoing a number of rapid changes. Early in his career, he also produced a temperance novel, Franklin Evans 1842. The poem records the loneliness of unfulfilled desire and the pleasure of visual contact, the longing for connection. The paradox is that Whitman speaks of the passing stranger as though he or she the poem does not reveal were his lifelong friend.
It is a part of a dream, a bigger scheme of humankind. In doing so he is a herald, warning us to hold on to our capacity to see this buried humanity in the passers-by. Besides, the poem explores the vital connection between all individuals on earth despite their varied experiences. Metaphor It is not hard to locate a metaphor in the text. There are just too many people. Therefore I would like to end this by saying to all the upcoming artists to follow your dreams and to really look at the cover of walts book for inspiration!! The twenty-second of the "Calamus" poems underwent almost no changes from the manuscript for the 1860 to later editions. Primarily, it was published without the title, bearing the number twenty-two.
Thus, he felt the desperate need to convey these emotions that make human beings the way they are. From where is Whitman sensing this connection? They pass by one another without a word, but the speaker describes a silent exchange between them. He talks about the connection one human shares with another. In such an atmosphere, as very well described by the Dark Romantics, there was a rise of a sense of distance and discontent amongst fellow individuals. Furthermore, the speaker could feel how their souls have been entwined due to their spiritual proximity. It could be a reference to their past birth where they were in a relationship.
Whitman feels a need to humanize the stranger. Through this piece, Whitman asks whether the relationship could have been different too or not if the circumstances had been different. Is a stranger a neighbor deep down, or a part of the faceless, nameless mass of people for whom one never spares a thought? He was a part of the transition between Transcendentalism and realism, incorporating both views in his works. The gender of the stranger is not provided, and it seems that the speaker is thinking or dreaming rather than talking to the stranger. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1968. Whitman does so in order to elaborate on the mental state of the speaker.