O troubled reflection in the sea! Rhythm is all about recurrence and change. What is that dusky spot in your brown yellow? Apparent rhythm is nothing more than the repetitive humdrum of every day motion. With this just-sustain'd note I announce myself to you, This gentle call is for you my love, for you. His loss of identity mystifies him; his loss of self-control wipes away the rest of the world from his focus. We two together no more. But fuse the song of my dusky demon and brother, That he sang to me in the moonlight on Paumanok's gray beach, With the thousand responsive songs at random, My own songs awaked from that hour, And with them the key, the word up from the waves, The word of the sweetest song and all songs, That strong and delicious word which, creeping to my feet, Or like some old crone rocking the cradle, swathed in sweet garments, bending aside, The sea whisper'd me.
We two together no more. It takes us into ourselves; it takes us out of ourselves. The abyss, furthermore, is necessary for the continuity of Bloom's genealogy because it is the place where the poet transumes his precursors and thereby transforms the abyss, or aporia, into a logos, or an image of voice. Close on its wave soothes the wave behind, And again another behind embracing and lapping, every one close, But my love soothes not me, not me. A word then, for I will conquer it, The word final, superior to all, Subtle, sent upwhat is it? The death that he saw during this time provided him with inspiration in his poetry and ideas and thoughts about death.
I think that rhythm helps people get through life day to day-without rhythm there would be complete chaos and nothing would flow the way it is intended to. O it is the shape, the shape of my mate! Ezra Greenspan The poem opens with one of the finest of Whitman's blocks of running rhythmic verse, all its mounting energy channeled into his poetic I -- or more precisely, into his I's performing the poetic act. Distinctions between youth and old age give rise to particularly poignant moments -- sometimes as obscure projections, in other instances as strong imagings. What is that little black thing I see there in the white? It does so through the rhetoric of address since the message in the bottle seems to be speaking to the poet alone, or to a muse, a friend, a lover, an abstraction, an object in nature. Carols under that lagging, yellow, waning moon! The poem, an elegy, is thought to be based on an intensely personal experience of the poet.
Winds blow south, or winds blow north, Day come white, or night come black, Home, or rivers and mountains from home, Singing all time, minding no time, While we two keep together. It is the combination in English of stressed and unstressed syllables that creates a feeling of fixity and flux, of surprise and inevitability. He would spin an enchantment beyond pain and joy, he would become the poetic shaman who authors that reminiscence for us, who magically summons up the experience in us. A sporadic rhythm symbolizes an energetic, dramatic tone. As we have seen, most of the time Whitman's poetics embrace the latter hope. But a human being cannot literally be an asshole. O it is the shape, the shape of my mate! Whereto answering, the sea, Delaying not, hurrying not, Whisper'd me through the night, and very plainly before daybreak, Lisp'd to me the low and delicious word death, And again death, death, death, death Hissing melodious, neither like the bird nor like my arous'd child's heart, But edging near as privately for me rustling at my feet, Creeping thence steadily up to my ears and laving me softly all over, Death, death, death, death, death.
We two together no more. Experience becomes literal by virtue of notation, writing as memory trace, not by the facticity of direct experience. The boy turns to the bird's song as a natural medium organically continuous with feeling, yet how does Whitman characterize his lament? He call'd on his mate, He pour'd forth the meanings which I of all men know. Yes my brother I know, The rest might not, but I have treasur'd every note, For more than once dimly down to the beach gliding, Silent, avoiding the moonbeams, blending myself with the shadows, Recalling now the obscure shapes, the echoes, the sounds and sights after their sorts, The white arms out in the breakers tirelessly tossing, I, with bare feet, a child, the wind wafting my hair, Listen'd long and long. While we bask, we two together.
Whitman's use of death is unlike any other poets. What is that dusky spot in your brown yellow? We two together no more. With this belief he has presented the elegy of he-bird whose mate is gone, and yet he has hope that her life has continued elsewhere. The bird's song awakens him to his calling, which he realizes in the future, and he reaches back into the past and perpetuates the bird's song, thus guaranteeing it an afterlife. Pour down your warmth, great Sun! O moon, do not keep her from me any longer. This return is prompted by the signs, particularly that of death, beyond which he must leap to bring forth his memorial song. O give me the clew! Blow up sea-winds along Paumanok's shore; I wait and I wait till you blow my mate to me.
Nature unveils to the boy the semiotic nature of life, the fact that he lives in a world of interpretations and translations, a world in which meaning and truth and feeling and reality lie hidden or, more precisely, are a fugitive function of their ever-present yet insubstantial representatives. The incantatory power of this is tremendous as the repetitions loosen the intellect for reverie. Sound clearer through the atmosphere! And thenceforward all summer in the sound of the sea, And at night under the full of the moon in calmer weather, Over the hoarse surging of the sea, Or flitting from brier to brier by day, I saw, I heard at intervals the remaining one, the he-bird, The solitary guest from Alabama. Davis This must be the mature poet looking back over his past life; a boy would scarcely have these anticipations of such a fate in store for him. Through this elegy, Walt Whitman presents his attitude towards death through the medium of he-bird. This poem, more than any other by Whitman, conforms to Bloom's map of poetic crossings.
Listen'd to keep, to sing, now translating the notes, Following you my brother. Blow up sea-winds along Paumanok's shore; I wait and I wait till you blow my mate to me. O, under that moon, where she droops almost down into the sea! He call'd on his mate, He pour'd forth the meanings which I of all men know. After his death on March 26, 1892, Whitman was buried in a tomb he designed and had built on a lot in Harleigh Cemetery. It is the language itself that prevents the bird from recuperating the obscure lost object of desire. Pour down yourwarmth, great sun! And thenceforward all summer in the sound of the sea, And at night under the full of the moon in calmer weather, Over the hoarse surging of the sea, Or flitting from brier to brier by day, I saw, I heard at intervals the remaining one, the he-bird, The solitary guest from Alabama.