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The ultimate point that Whitman desires to make comes in the very last couple of lines. The point here is that all of the people, events, histories, and the others Whitman lists, of Time (with a capital “t” to emphasize the importance of time) at some point must all come together to create a present. The present that is created includes each and every reader, or simply person, that experiences the learning processes of each of the elements of the past. The ultimate position of the “thee” in the poem is that he/she is currently in the “to-day”, the present, finally understanding all that had to occur to get to today.


This stuff is actually for the next poem, “After the Dazzle of Day” but it is not posting properly to that poem, so here it is:

The two words of interest from this section are “clangor” and “athwart”.

Clangor can be defined as “a clang or medley of clangs” (

Athwart can be defined as “in opposition to” or “across especially in an oblique direction”(

Whitman is apparently separating the day into two periods, one of which is more important to discuss for the purpose of this poem. That time period would be the night, where he experiences the synchronization of the musical instruments that seem to take over his soul in a way that neither he, nor anyone else, expected. Things he experiences in the night are much different than in the day, where he may believe he seeing things much more clear because of the sunlight, but the experience within his soul is much more clear in the evening.

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The appointed winners in a long-stretchd game;
The course of Time and nations Egypt, India, Greece and
The past entire, with all its heroes, histories, arts, experiments,
Its store of songs, inventions, voyages, teachers, books,
Garnerd for now and thee To think of it!
The heirdom all converged in thee!