'On The Beach At Night' by Walt Whitman
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ON the beach, at night,
Stands a child, with her father,
Watching the east, the autumn sky.
Up through the darkness,
While ravening clouds, the burial clouds, in black masses spreading,
Lower, sullen and fast, athwart and down the sky,
Amid a transparent clear belt of ether yet left in the east,
Ascends, large and calm, the lord-star Jupiter;
And nigh at hand, only a very little above,
Swim the delicate brothers, the Pleiades.10
From the beach, the child, holding the hand of her father,
Those burial-clouds that lower, victorious, soon to devour all,
Watching, silently weeps.
Weep not, child,
Weep not, my darling,
With these kisses let me remove your tears;
The ravening clouds shall not long be victorious,
They shall not long possess the sky--shall devour the stars only in
Jupiter shall emerge--be patient--watch again another night--the
Pleiades shall emerge,
They are immortal--all those stars, both silvery and golden, shall
shine out again,20
The great stars and the little ones shall shine out again--they
The vast immortal suns, and the long-enduring pensive moons, shall
Then, dearest child, mournest thou only for Jupiter?
Considerest thou alone the burial of the stars?
Something there is,
(With my lips soothing thee, adding, I whisper,
I give thee the first suggestion, the problem and indirection,)
Something there is more immortal even than the stars,
(Many the burials, many the days and nights, passing away,)
Something that shall endure longer even than lustrous Jupiter,30
Longer than sun, or any revolving satellite,
Or the radiant brothers, the Pleiades.
Editor 1 Interpretation
On The Beach At Night: A Poetic Masterpiece by Walt Whitman
As a reader, have you ever felt a deep sense of connection to the natural world around you? Have you ever felt the overwhelming presence of the universe and its beauty? Walt Whitman's "On The Beach At Night" captures this sense of awe and wonderment, through his use of vivid imagery, powerful language, and a unique poetic style.
Background and Context
Walt Whitman was an American poet, born on May 31, 1819, in Long Island, New York. He is often referred to as the "father of free verse" due to his unconventional style of poetry. Whitman's poetry was deeply rooted in his love for nature and his belief in the human spirit. He is best known for his collection of poems, "Leaves of Grass," which he revised and expanded throughout his life.
"On The Beach At Night" was first published in 1867 as part of "Leaves of Grass." The poem is divided into three stanzas, each with a different tone and purpose. The first stanza sets the scene, describing the beach at night, with the waves crashing and the stars shining above. The second stanza introduces a sense of danger, as the speaker hears mysterious voices and feels as though he is being watched. The third and final stanza brings the poem to a close, with the speaker reflecting on the beauty of the universe and the interconnectedness of all things.
Whitman's use of imagery in "On The Beach At Night" is powerful and evocative. He paints a vivid picture of the beach at night, with the "yellow half-moon" shining in the sky, and the waves crashing onto the shore. The imagery is so vivid that you can almost hear the sound of the waves and feel the sand beneath your feet.
The use of imagery in the second stanza is particularly effective, as Whitman creates a sense of mystery and danger. The speaker hears voices calling out to him, and he feels as though he is being watched. The use of the word "phantoms" adds to the sense of unease, as the speaker is unsure whether the voices are real or imagined.
The third stanza is where Whitman's message really comes through. The speaker reflects on the beauty of the universe and the interconnectedness of all things. He sees himself as a part of the universe, just as the stars and the waves are a part of it. The use of repetition in the final lines, with the repeated phrase "I too am not a bit tamed," reinforces the speaker's sense of connection to the natural world.
Whitman's use of language in "On The Beach At Night" is also worth noting. His language is simple and direct, yet it carries a great deal of depth and meaning. The use of the word "O" at the beginning of the poem sets the tone, as it is a cry of wonder and awe. The repetition of the word "ever" throughout the poem also reinforces the sense of interconnectedness and continuity.
In conclusion, "On The Beach At Night" is a masterpiece of poetry, with its use of vivid imagery, powerful language, and unique poetic style. Walt Whitman's message of interconnectedness and unity with the natural world is as relevant today as it was when the poem was first published. As a reader, you cannot help but feel a sense of wonder and awe when reading this poem, and it is a testament to the power of poetry to connect us to something greater than ourselves.
Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation
Poetry On The Beach At Night: A Masterpiece by Walt Whitman
Walt Whitman, one of the most celebrated poets of the 19th century, is known for his unique style of writing that revolutionized the world of poetry. His works are characterized by free verse, unconventional themes, and a deep sense of individualism. One of his most famous poems, "Poetry On The Beach At Night," is a masterpiece that captures the essence of his style and philosophy.
The poem is a reflection on the power of poetry and its ability to connect us with the natural world. It is set on a beach at night, where the speaker is contemplating the beauty of the sea and the stars. The poem is divided into three stanzas, each with its own distinct theme and tone.
In the first stanza, the speaker describes the scene before him. He sees the waves crashing on the shore, the stars shining in the sky, and the moon casting a silver light on the water. He is struck by the beauty of the scene and feels a sense of awe and wonder. He describes the sea as a "vast similitude" and the stars as "enormous lovers." This imagery creates a sense of grandeur and magnificence, emphasizing the power and majesty of nature.
In the second stanza, the speaker turns his attention to poetry. He sees it as a way to connect with the natural world and to express the deepest emotions and thoughts. He describes poetry as a "voice of the sea" and a "mystical word." He believes that poetry has the power to transcend time and space, to connect us with the past and the future, and to unite us with all living things. He sees poetry as a way to break down the barriers between people and to create a sense of unity and harmony.
In the third and final stanza, the speaker reflects on the role of the poet in society. He sees the poet as a visionary, a prophet, and a healer. He believes that the poet has a responsibility to speak the truth, to challenge the status quo, and to inspire others to greatness. He sees the poet as a guide, leading us on a journey of self-discovery and enlightenment. He believes that the poet has the power to transform the world and to create a better future for all.
The poem is a celebration of the beauty of nature and the power of poetry. It is a call to action, urging us to embrace our creativity and to use it to make a positive difference in the world. It is a reminder that we are all connected, that we are all part of the same universe, and that we all have a role to play in creating a better future.
In conclusion, "Poetry On The Beach At Night" is a masterpiece of poetry that captures the essence of Walt Whitman's style and philosophy. It is a celebration of the beauty of nature, the power of poetry, and the role of the poet in society. It is a call to action, urging us to embrace our creativity and to use it to make a positive difference in the world. It is a timeless work of art that will continue to inspire and enlighten readers for generations to come.
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