Comments by Users

There are 175 comments in this document
"As I sit Writing Here" is a poem that chronicles walt's fear that his sickness, aging and discontented mood regarding his health will aeffect his poetry. He longss to still be the strong, bright, passionate writer we met when reading Song of Myself. Definitions: querilities: not in the dictionary, so it must be a Whitman word; based on the context I think he mean queries or questions that he worries about. such as: will my health seep into my writing? ennui: a feeling of utter weariness and discontent resulting from satiety or lack of interest; boredom: The endless lecture produced an unbearable ennui. lethargy:the quality or state of being drowsy and dull, listless and unenergetic, or indifferent and lazy; apathetic or sluggish inactivity. Definitions from
"A Carol Closing Sixty Nine" is similar to a later poem in the Second Annex, " Now Precedent Songs, Farewell", here Whitman is marking the end of his 69th year with a catalog of things he'd like to give tribute to and say goodbye to. Similarly, in "Precedent Songs" Whitman is remembering all of his past poetry. In "Carol Closing Sixty Nine", Whitman admits his work is a resume of sorts, but not of his songs this time, rather the first half of the poem acknowledges all the things about his country that he loves, he writes: "Of ye, O God, Life, Nature, Freedom, Poetry; Of you, my land --- your rivers, priaries, States --- you mottled Flag I love. Your aggregate retain'd entire --- Of north, south, east and west your items all;" Then the second half of the poem shifts to a discussion of Whitman's aging. Though his heart is still beating and his blood is still flowing strong his body is in pain and losing steam, so to speak, however, in the final line his faith in himself is undiminished and he is thankful for all of his loving friends who also have resilient faith in his strength. Definitions of terms: mottled: spotted or blotched in coloring. aggregate: a sum, mass, or assemblage of particulars; a total or gross amount: the aggregate of all past experience. jocud:cheerful; merry; gay; blithe; glad: a witty and jocund group. definitions from
Whitman's "From Montauk Point" depicts the powerful, beautiful and ever churning sea. The speaker is standing on the point, maybe even near the famous Montauk lighthouse we don't know; but I picture him not just standing, but leaning with arms outstretched on the edge of the point. "I stand as on some mighty eagle's beak", he writes. The rest of the poem is an ode to the sea and I see it even as the poet's attempt to become one with the water. "The tossing of waves, the foam, the ships in the distance,The wild unrest, the snowy, curling caps-- that inbound urge and urge of waves,", he says. The poet respects the sea's power and yearns to be a part of it. Land is not the poet's home, rather he'd be happier on the water "seeking the shores forever", but never really reaching them. Montauk Point, the top point of the western side of Long Island was originally inhabited by the Montauk band of the Algonquin Indians. In 1686, the indians sold Montauk to a group of European settlers known as "the proprietors". This sale began Montauk's role as a summer getaway spot, but not for people yet...for cattle. Montauk wouldn't host people as tourists until the 1920's. Finally, guess what? Some say pirate treasure is buried on Montauk, for more information about the point's pirate booty and more history information, visit this link.
In this poem, Whitman yearns for a return to Manhattan before it was a city. He writes, "My city's fit and noble named resumed, Choice aborignal(which in this case means original/indigenous) name, with marvellous beauty, meaning," The orignial settlers of Manhattan, the Native Americans, first called it Mannahatta, which loosely translated means "island of many hills". In 1609, explorer Henry Hudson discovered Mannahatta when he was searching for passage to the Orient and at that time the city we know of as packed with skyscrapers and traffic was full of rolling hills, various wildlife and lush plant life. Mannahatta was hills on one side and sea on the other (since it was an island, after all) And Whitman wishes it could be like that again. He wants that calm, serene atmosphere instead of the beginning of industrialization he sees springing up around him. He wants, "A rocky founded island - shores where ever gayly dash the coming, going and hurrying sea waves". Here Whitman does and excellent job of capturing the rhythm of the sea, which coupled with the rocky cliffs allows us to conjure an image of what Manhattan was then. Today, instead of the comin, going and hurrying of sea waves we have the coming, going and hurrying of millions of people. For more information on Mannahatta, please visit the following links: the mannahattaproject site even has a virtual tour of what Manhattan looked like in 1609 as "Mannahatta". It is pretty cool I tried it. Check it out. Oh and teachers, if you want to teach your class some New York history the site has a cirriculum all about Mannahatta for various grade levels.
In this poem, Whitman yearns for a return to Manhattan before the industrial revolution, before it was a city. He writes,"My city's fit and noble named resumed". The Native Americans who lived on the island before it became a metropolis named it "Mannahatta", which losely translated means "island of many hills". Explorer Henry Hudson stumbled upon the island of "Mannahatta" in 1609 when he was looking for a passage to the Orient and the land that he discovered was rich with many varieties of plant and wildlife. There were rolling hills on one side and shore on the other. Whitman wants a return to the "natural" Mannahatta rather than the city he sees beginning to spring up around him. "Choice aboriginal (which in this case means original) name, with marvellous beauty, meaning, a rocky founded island - shores where ever gayly dash the coming, going hurring sea waves, he writes. Little did he know how densely populated with building and people Manhattan would become. It's now all about the coming and going of people rather than sea waves. But, here Whitman does an excellent job of capturing the sounds and motion of the sea, which along with the rocky cliffs allow us to conjure up a visual of what the original island may have looked like. For more information on Mannahatta (the place) visit the following links: the mannahatta project link is very interesting and has even recreated the landscape of what manhattan would have looked like then so that you can take a virtual tour of it. (pretty neat, I checked it out) and teachers if you want to teach your class about new york history the mannahatta site also has a curriculum about it for different grade levels.