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HELP PLEASE---There Was a Child Went Forth---Walt Whitman
Posted by: Marissa (192.168.128.---)
Date: December 14, 2006 07:22PM

PLEASE, I need help understanding the poem "There Was a Child Went Forth" by Walt Whitman! And are there any poetic devices used or figurative language?? Any help is very much appreciated. Thank You!! =)

Re: HELP PLEASE---There Was a Child Went Forth---Walt Whitman
Posted by: MoonBabe (192.168.128.---)
Date: December 15, 2006 12:54AM

Dear Marissa:

As in most of "Leaves of Grass," Whitman portrays how all of mankind is a part of the larger picture, the earth and the universe. It's a sort of ashes to ashes, dust to dust concept written in his incredibly poetic manner and way of using the English language. The concept is old; his manner of writing at that time, was new and stays new because he was such a genius writer.

Poetic devices---he uses metaphor after metaphor after metaphor . . .

Some might say that he goes on and on, but I'd argue that beauty can never be overdone and how he writes, however he pulls it off, it's beautiful.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/15/2006 11:19AM by MoonBabe.

Re: HELP PLEASE---There Was a Child Went Forth---Walt Whitman
Posted by: Hugh Clary (192.168.128.---)
Date: December 15, 2006 02:25PM

Wally doesn't do much for me personally, but ...

No rhyme scheme or consistent meter, so is 'free verse' a poetic device? Well, it would have to be I guess. Any rhythm to speak of? Your call. Any alliteration/assonance/consonance? Not really, no. Repetition? Plenty of that in every Whitman piece!

There was a child went forth every day,
And the first object he look'd upon, that object he became,
And that object became part of him for the day or a certain part of the day,
Or for many years or stretching cycles of years.
The early lilacs became part of this child,
And grass and white and red morning-glories, and white and red
clover, and the song of the phoebe-bird,
And the Third-month lambs and the sow's pink-faint litter, and the
mare's foal and the cow's calf,
And the noisy brood of the barnyard or by the mire of the pond-side,
And the fish suspending themselves so curiously below there, and the
beautiful curious liquid,
And the water-plants with their graceful flat heads, all became part of him.
The field-sprouts of Fourth-month and Fifth-month became part of him,
Winter-grain sprouts and those of the light-yellow corn, and the
esculent roots of the garden,
And the apple-trees cover'd with blossoms and the fruit afterward,
and wood-berries, and the commonest weeds by the road,
And the old drunkard staggering home from the outhouse of the
tavern whence he had lately risen,
And the schoolmistress that pass'd on her way to the school,
And the friendly boys that pass'd, and the quarrelsome boys,
And the tidy and fresh-cheek'd girls, and the barefoot negro boy and girl,
And all the changes of city and country wherever he went.
His own parents, he that had father'd him and she that had conceiv'd
him in her womb and birth'd him,
They gave this child more of themselves than that,
They gave him afterward every day, they became part of him.
The mother at home quietly placing the dishes on the supper-table,
The mother with mild words, clean her cap and gown, a wholesome
odor falling off her person and clothes as she walks by,
The father, strong, self-sufficient, manly, mean, anger'd, unjust,
The blow, the quick loud word, the tight bargain, the crafty lure,
The family usages, the language, the company, the furniture, the
yearning and swelling heart,
Affection that will not be gainsay'd, the sense of what is real, the
thought if after all it should prove unreal,
The doubts of day-time and the doubts of night-time, the curious
whether and how,
Whether that which appears so is so, or is it all flashes and specks?
Men and women crowding fast in the streets, if they are not flashes
and specks what are they?
The streets themselves and the facades of houses, and goods in the
Vehicles, teams, the heavy-plank'd wharves, the huge crossing at
the ferries,
The village on the highland seen from afar at sunset, the river between,
Shadows, aureola and mist, the light falling on roofs and gables of
white or brown two miles off,
The schooner near by sleepily dropping down the tide, the little
boat slack-tow'd astern,
The hurrying tumbling waves, quick-broken crests, slapping,
The strata of color'd clouds, the long bar of maroon-tint away
solitary by itself, the spread of purity it lies motionless in,
The horizon's edge, the flying sea-crow, the fragrance of salt marsh
and shore mud,
These became part of that child who went forth every day, and who
now goes, and will always go forth every day.


Re: HELP PLEASE---There Was a Child Went Forth---Walt Whitman
Posted by: MoonBabe (192.168.128.---)
Date: December 16, 2006 03:41AM

Awwwww Hugh---I guess we can never be friends . . . smiling smiley

Does anyone "do it" for you???

You weren't into my grocery store idea way back when . . .
mighta been fun!!

As for meter and rhyme---who gives a shi-???


Re: HELP PLEASE---There Was a Child Went Forth---Walt Whitman
Posted by: JohnnySansCulo (192.168.128.---)
Date: December 16, 2006 05:02AM

Free verse is not bad poetry's only muse, but it's way up there on the list

Re: HELP PLEASE---There Was a Child Went Forth---Walt Whitman
Posted by: lg (Moderator)
Date: December 16, 2006 05:57AM

One of the major criticisms of Whitman's poetry is the endless lists. Not all of his poetry was lengthy, but once he began a rant he really got going with it. Most readers distinguish him for his endless categorizations. Here are a couple of his shorter works:

A Hand-Mirror
by Walt Whitman

HOLD it up sternly! See this it sends back! (Who is it? Is it you?)
Outside fair costume--within ashes and filth,
No more a flashing eye--no more a sonorous voice or springy step;
Now some slave's eye, voice, hands, step,
A drunkard's breath, unwholesome eater's face, venerealee's flesh,
Lungs rotting away piecemeal, stomach sour and cankerous,
Joints rheumatic, bowels clogged with abomination,
Blood circulating dark and poisonous streams,
Words babble, hearing and touch callous,
No brain, no heart left--no magnetism of sex;
Such, from one look in this looking-glass ere you go hence,
Such a result so soon--and from such a beginning!


These Carols
by Walt Whitman

THESE Carols, sung to cheer my passage through the world I see,
For completion, I dedicate to the Invisible World.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/16/2006 06:03AM by lg.

Re: HELP PLEASE---There Was a Child Went Forth---Walt Whitman
Posted by: MoonBabe (192.168.128.---)
Date: December 17, 2006 09:35PM

. . . reading some stuff about Whitman by Harold Bloom might be of use . . .


Above: Walt Whitman and Harold Bloom

American literature and culture are inconceivable without the towering presence of Walt Whitman. Expansive, ecstatic, original in ways that continue to startle and to elicit new discoveries, Whitman's poetry is a testament to the surging energies of 19th-century America and a monument to the transforming power of literary genius. His incantatory rhythms, revolutionary sense of Eros, and generous, all-embracing vision invite renewed wonder at each reading. Although he has been a defining influence for many poets—Garcia Lorca, Fernando Pessoa, Robinson Jeffers and Allen Ginsberg—his style is ultimately inimitable, and his achivement unsurpassed in American poetry. "One always wants to start out fresh with Whitman," writes Harold Bloom in his introduction, "and read him as though he never has been read before." In a selection that ranges from early notebook fragments and the complete "Song of Myself" to the valedictory "Good-bye My Fancy!," Bloom has chosen 47 works to represent "the principal writer that America—North, Central, or South—has brought to us."

ISBN: 1931082324
Price: $20.00
Series number: 4
225 pp.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/17/2006 09:36PM by MoonBabe.

Re: HELP PLEASE---There Was a Child Went Forth---Walt Whitman
Posted by: lg (Moderator)
Date: December 18, 2006 02:20AM

Here's one in which he doesn't categorize:

A Sight In Camp
by Walt Whitman

A SIGHT in camp in the day-break grey and dim,
As from my tent I emerge so early, sleepless,
As slow I walk in the cool fresh air, the path near by the hospital
Three forms I see on stretchers lying, brought out there, untended
Over each the blanket spread, ample brownish woollen blanket,
Grey and heavy blanket, folding, covering all.

Curious, I halt, and silent stand;
Then with light fingers I from the face of the nearest, the first,
just lift the blanket:
Who are you, elderly man so gaunt and grim, with well-grey'd hair,
and flesh all sunken about the eyes?
Who are you, my dear comrade?

Then to the second I step--And who are you, my child and darling?
Who are you, sweet boy, with cheeks yet blooming?

Then to the third--a face nor child, nor old, very calm, as of
beautiful yellow-white ivory;
Young man, I think I know you--I think this face of yours is the face
of the Christ himself;
Dead and divine, and brother of all, and here again he lies.


Re: HELP PLEASE---There Was a Child Went Forth---Walt Whitman
Posted by: CarpeDiem (192.168.128.---)
Date: December 19, 2006 01:27PM

hii This a very difficult task I think but I remember one of my friend presented this poem's analysis at class.I can take it from her to help u.maybe in this way I can help u..otherwise I can't unfortunately.don't worry u can do it..

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