Discussion board #11: whitman | Freshman Comp II ENC | Valencia College


After reading the selections of Whitman’s poetry, answer the following questions in this week’s discussion board. Use complete sentences and specific evidence from the text to support your claims. Make sure you also indicate the title of the poem when referencing.

1. Walt Whitman is often considered to be a larger-than-life poet, writing expansive lines and embracing the whole of America as his inspiration. In “Song of Myself,” however, he writes, “I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journeywork of the stars.” The opening section of “Song of Myself” celebrates the poet’s individuality or self. How do these opening lines make it clear that this self is also representative and universal, sharing its being with all others? 

2. What does Whitman mean when he describes his poem by saying he is “sound[ing] my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world”? 

3. How does Whitman call attention to small objects in “Song of Myself”? What does “a leaf of grass” mean to Whitman? What images does the poet use to suggest that his message and spirit will remain after he is gone? Why do you think he called his life’s work Leaves of Grass?

4. Discuss the similar themes in “Song of Myself” and “I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer.”

In order to receive full credit for this post you must:

  • Post your response to all questions. Use complete sentences and specific evidence from the text to support your claims. Make sure you also indicate the page number when you are pulling evidence from the story.

http://whitmanarchive.org/published/LG/1867/poems/171( “When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer”)

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