Walt Whitman

Born: May 31, 1819 Died: March 26, 1892

Walt grew up in Brooklyn and Long Island. When Walt was 12 he started learning about printer's trade. Walt taught himself, for the most part, to read and come across the readings of Homer, Dante, Shakespeare, and the Bible. Besides writing poetry, Walt was a printer in NYC. The building he printed in burned down and at age 17 he started his career in teaching. Walt taught for 5 years and made a career out of journalism.

Poem: A Noiseless Patient Spider BY WALT WHITMAN

A noiseless patient spider,I mark’d where on a little promontory it stood isolated,Mark’d how to explore the vacant vast surrounding,It launch’d forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself,Ever unreeling them, ever tirelessly speeding them.

And you O my soul where you stand,Surrounded, detached, in measureless oceans of space,Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing, seeking the spheres to connect them,Till the bridge you will need be form’d, till the ductile anchor hold,Till the gossamer thread you fling catch somewhere, O my soul.

Poem: A Glimpse by Walt Whitman

A GLIMPSE, through an interstice caught,
Of a crowd of workmen and drivers in a bar-room, around the stove,
late of a winter night--And I unremark'd seated in a corner;
Of a youth who loves me, and whom I love, silently approaching, and
seating himself near, that he may hold me by the hand;
A long while, amid the noises of coming and going--of drinking and
oath and smutty jest,
There we two, content, happy in being together, speaking little,
perhaps not a word.

I chose "A Noiseless Patient Spider" because I sometimes feel like that could describe me. Patiently sitting by and leaving my mark on things. This poem has no set meter or rhyme. The theme of "A Noiseless Patient Spider" centers around body and soul, mind and body. Throughout the poem, Whitman says "O my soul where you stand" and there he is referring to the theme of body and soul. I believe that "A Noiseless Patient Spider" falls under the Realist era because he talks about mind and soul. I chose "A Glimpse" because it describes love in a subtle way. The poem portrayed an idea of love being constant. This poem also has no set meter or rhyme. The theme of "A Glimpse" would center around love. Throughout the poem, Whitman readers to "Of a youth who loves me, and whom I love" which clearly indicates the theme of love. I believe that "A Glimpse" falls under the Romanticism era because he talks about love which would be considered romance.