An analysis of the crossing brooklyn ferry record by walt whitman

Dualism, in philosophy, means that the world is ultimately composed of, or explicable in terms of, two basic entities, such as mind and matter. The images with their movement toward sunset suggest the human journey from birth to death and the unity of generations in an endless process.

He assumes that they see the same things he does, and that they react in the same way, and that this brings them together in a very real sense. As the reader, we are at once the future "perfection," waiting for the arrival of the ferry, but because we are now presently living, we are the travelers as well.

Speaker and reader merge by means of a trick of tense. Everyone is separate yet also an essential part of the unity. The images with their movement toward sunset suggest the human journey from birth to death and the unity of generations in an endless process. In the first case, the goal in life is to work hard to be accepted by the standards of others.

They read this poem, and shared his experience. The circular flow from the physical to the spiritual connotes the dual nature of the universe. This is a poem of his obsession with the democratic poetics. Curiously this leads Whitman to turn to the physical as a locus for identity: Each individual on the ferry, but also in the past, present and future of Whitman's world, as well as each disparate image, is at once completely separated and joined to a greater purpose, what he comes to call later "the soul.

With phrases like "The similitudes of the past and those of the future," and "the others that are to follow me, the ties between them and me," he creates a rocking motion within each line, as well as a kind of distance between the speaker and the reader.

Walt Whitman’s “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry”: Summary & Analysis

The erotic interchange of his poetry, though, is meant to symbolize the intense but always incomplete connection between individuals. The poem itself is a ferry, shuttling across the river of time.

He reaches back to acknowledge the past and look forward to greet the wonderful future. The poem explores the difficulties of discovering the relevance of life. On the ferry-boats the hundreds and hundreds that cross, returning home, are more curious to me than you suppose, And you that shall cross from shore to shore years hence are more to me, and more in my meditations, that you might suppose.

The circle in the water is his head, the reader's head, and the sun itself at the same time, and so the experience of looking into the water is both great and small. Thus, at the end of the poem, Whitman addresses himself to material objects, which are also part of the life process because they are useful to man.

This idea is clearly stated in the lines: The panorama of the city and the river as seen from the moving ferry gradually comes to coexist with the narrator's imagined sight of those people of the future who will occupy the place he occupies now.

This sense of repetition and revisiting reinforces the thematic content of the poem, which looks at the possibility of continuity within humanity based on common experiences. The future becomes present and present becomes past. The ferry, the people that cross on it, and the rushing water beneath, serve for Whitman as mystical symbols of an everlasting and unified flow of humanity from the present into the future.

Whitman holds out the possibility of a slimed experience, a return to the wholeness of the protecting, all-satisfying "solution" of the cosmic womb.

Therefore the body is something to be worshipped and given a certain primacy. But then, becoming free of verb tenses and of psychic tensions, the speaker posits the reality of the eternal moment of time itself or rather of timelessness. It is in the third section that the first of two central images of the poem are established, the seagulls: The second central image of the poem is that of the speaker leaning over the edge of the boat with the sun behind his head and, seeing spokes of light surrounding his face, imagining that another passenger, endless numbers of other passengers, will someday look into the water and see the same thing.

Land and water thus form part of the symbolistic pattern of the poem. The mood throughout the poem is one of joyous celebration. The suggestion that Whitman offers as a means of becoming distinguished, or obtaining an identity, is to live a life of self-satisfaction.

The methods that helped Whitman grasp his own idea of the importance of life are defined with some simple yet insightful and convincing observations. His best actions have appeared "blank" and "suspicious. The description of the journey on the river is very vivid.

Crossing Brooklyn Ferry by Walt Whitman: Summary

Reconstruction, which began to fail almost immediately after it was begun, further disappointed Whitman. In section 4, Whitman declares his deep love for the cities, the river, and the people.

The tide, the cloud, and the sun become integral characters in this spiritual drama between the poet and the elements.

Crossing Brooklyn Ferry

His own experience is similar to that of the reader years from now. Whitman leaves the apprehension that the distinguishing characteristics are few. Crowds of men and women attired in the usual costumes, how curious you are to me. This is a poem of his obsession with the democratic poetics.

Walt Whitman asks himself and the reader of the poem, “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry,” what significance a person’s life holds in the scope of densely populated planet.

The poem explores the difficulties of discovering the relevance of life. Crossing Brooklyn Ferry by Walt Whitman: Analysis The poem is based on Whitman’s ideas on the external forward movement of all things, through life, death and rebirth, and his ideas of an interrelationship of all people that transcends time and place.

For Whitman, spiritual communion depends on physical contact, or at least proximity. The body is the vessel that enables the soul to experience the world.

Therefore the body is something to be worshipped and given a certain primacy. Eroticism, particularly homoeroticism, figures significantly in.

Leaves of Grass

Crossing Brooklyn Ferry by Walt Whitman: Summary Crossing Brooklyn Ferry is one of the masterpieces in Leaves of Grass. Being a poet, and the voice of the people, Whitman took the role of a prophet and through his poems delivered his message to his people and to the world at large.

For Whitman, spiritual communion depends on physical contact, or at least proximity. The body is the vessel that enables the soul to experience the world. Therefore the body is something to be worshipped and given a certain primacy.

Eroticism, particularly homoeroticism, figures significantly in.

Leaves of Grass

Recurring Images and Motifs in "Crossing Brooklyn Ferry" In the poem "Crossing Brooklyn Ferry" by Walt Whitman, there are many recurring images and motifs that can be seen. Whitman develops these images throughout the course of the poem. The most dominant of these are the linear notion of time.

An analysis of the crossing brooklyn ferry record by walt whitman
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SparkNotes: Whitman’s Poetry: “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry”