Essay about Crossing Brooklyn Ferry by Walt Whitman

Essay about Crossing Brooklyn Ferry by Walt Whitman

Length: 868 words (2.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Through the use of simple diction, Whitman is able to traverse both time and distance and connect with his readers as so few other poets can. His mastery of verbiage draws readers into the poem, as few other poets can. In “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry,” Whitman creates a vignette into the Brooklyn of the past, and he connects it to the present, though in surprising ways. The omnipresence of Whitman allows the reader to envision themselves into the settings he created- and to interpret them into modern language. By creating a path through the cities of the past, Whitman connects with his readers in a fascinating and deeply personal way.
Whitman’s mastery of language and is apparent in the poem narrator’s ability to speak directly to those who will read his poetry, long after he has died. Whitman's obvious delight in nature is so great and awe inspiring that he is able to traverse time and share his experiences with those who will come long after him through use of imagery of landmarks he believed to stand the test of time. In 1849, Whitman pondered this in his poem “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry,” the durability of the Croton Reservoir, which is located at Forty-second Street and Fifth Avenue, when he describes the sight of a sunset over the water and the colors that the rays of light create. "Crossing Brooklyn Ferry" is divided into nine sections or “chapters”. The first five lines of the first “chapter” begin with an allusion to some of the physical phenomena Whitman has encountered such as the flood-tide, the clouds scene in the western sky, and the busy crowds scene on the ferry, and "you that shall cross from shore to shore years hence" (CITE). The brief opening stanza introduces the poem's main themes ...


... middle of paper ...


...man beseeches the multitudes of natural phenomena he already mentioned—the tide and waves, clouds, current and future ferry patrons, masts of Manhattan and hills of Brooklyn, the ships, and the sea birds to continue doing what they do best, their natural activities. This recapitulates the main themes of the poem and Whitman's own consciousness which both connects him to future generations and separates him from his present. Without being apart from the whole, Whitman would have no individual consciousness and no ability to seek out the complex connections he creates in his poetry. As he says in the last four lines:

We use you, and do not cast you aside—we plant you permanently within us,

We fathom you not—we love you—there is perfection in you also

You furnish your parts toward eternity,

Great or small, you furnish your parts toward the soul (CITE).

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

"Crossing Brooklyn Ferry" by Walt Whitman Essay

- "Crossing Brooklyn Ferry" by Walt Whitman 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, playing roles, and nature. By examining these motifs and tracing their development, ones understanding of the poem becomes highly deepened. Whitman challenges the linear notion of time by connecting past with future....   [tags: Poem Poet Whitman Brooklyn Ferry Essays]

Better Essays
937 words (2.7 pages)

Essay about Analysis Of The Poem ' Crossing Brooklyn Ferry '

- It has been said many a times how New York is a magical, wondrous, fantastical land of dreams. Many believe this statement and it is one of the main reasons why New York City is one of the most visited places in America. Countless events have happened in New York that aided its reputation as a great place to be. And New York is a great place to be, come and visit the sights and feel the pullulating streets, however, it does not seem to be a great place to stay. According to Walt Whitman’s “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry,” New York is a wonderful place to be, and according to Joan Didion’s “Goodbye To All That” New York is a bad place to stay....   [tags: New York City, New Jersey, Brooklyn, Walt Whitman]

Better Essays
1086 words (3.1 pages)

Analysis Of The Poem ' Crossing Brooklyn Ferry ' Essay

- Walt Whitman’s poem “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry” gives a light euphonious feel and reveals all the passion Whitman receives from being in such a grand city overflowing with expectations. The third part of the poem talks about the unity of the people of New York, how they all experience the same experiences. The piece is filled with a lot of positive words that impact the view of the person reading the poem. The start of the excerpt from the poem, “It avails not, time nor place” speaks of how neither time nor place can aid in the separation of New Yorkers....   [tags: New York City, New Jersey, Brooklyn, United States]

Better Essays
811 words (2.3 pages)

Essay on Individuality And Free Verse in Walt Whitman's Song of Myself

- Forged in the fire of revolution and defined by manifest destiny, America has always been the land of the individual. Although the American dream has not always been consistent, (married with 2.5 kids, 2 cars, a dog and a satisfying job), the spirit of innovation, individuality and progress remains unchanged. The father of free verse, and perhaps the American perspective of poetry, Walt Whitman embodies these values in his life and work. First published in 1855 in Leaves of Grass, "Song of Myself" is a vision of a symbolic "I" enraptured by the senses, vicariously embracing all people and places from the Atlantic to the Pacific oceans....   [tags: Song of Myself Essays]

Better Essays
1521 words (4.3 pages)

Essay about An Analysis of Sing the Body Electric

- A Celebration of Life “I Sing the Body Electric” is one of twelve poems that comprised the 1855 first edition of Walt Whitman’s self-published masterpiece, Leaves of Grass. Like other poems, especially “Song of Myself,” it is a celebration of life. It is hard to believe this classic was written during the Civil War era. A time historically riddled with slavery and injustice, of mass death and discord, as well as the expansion of industrialization, the movement out west and population growth. This 19th century classic defines an age-old problem....   [tags: Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass]

Better Essays
1256 words (3.6 pages)

Henry David Thoreau 's Poetry Essay

- Whitman claimed that he had started writing in 1847, but his work consisted mainly of random thoughts and unofficial lines (Lewis). His first notes contained of flashes of illumination and reflections on his personal relationship with the world around him. He lacked a specific form in his poetry and regarded poets before him as negative examples (Lewis). He shared Henry David Thoreau’s belief that poetry should act as a “healthy speech,” as he invented a style of writing that was appropriate for his work’s content (Lewis)....   [tags: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Walt Whitman]

Better Essays
704 words (2 pages)

Dickinson vs Whitman Essay

- Dickinson vs Whitman Two Poets, Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson are probably two of the most influential people in American poetry. They are regarded as the founders modern American poetry. Walt Whitman (1819-1892), for the time was breaking new ground with his diverse, energetic verse with regards to subject matter, form and style whether talking about overlooked objects in nature such as a single blade of grass or even our own hearing. Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) while living a life of seclusion, never really leaving her birthplace, was very adventurous internally....   [tags: essays papers]

Better Essays
627 words (1.8 pages)

Walt Whitman And His Work Essay

- Walt Whitman, born in May of 1819, grew up with an affinity for America. Originally from Long Island, New York, Whitman moved to Brooklyn as a child in hopes that his father would find work in the city. However, when that did not happen, his father took Walt out of school in order for him to work and bring in an extra income. Whitman began his working career at age eleven by working in one of Brooklyn’s attorney offices. Shortly afterwards, he began getting involved in the printing business and fell in love with it....   [tags: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Walt Whitman]

Better Essays
1604 words (4.6 pages)

Essay on Walt Whitman And The New York

- May 31, 1819, Walt Whitman was born to Walter Whitman and Louisa Van Velsor. Walt was the second son of nine children who lived in New York in the 1820’s and 1830’s. Between 1825 and 1830 Walt attended public school in Brooklyn while his family moved often within the city. At twelve Walt began to learn the trade of printing to then begin loving the written word. Whitman worked as a printer until the age of seventeen when a fire destroyed where he worked. In 1836 he began working as a school teacher in Long Island until 1841 when he became a full-time journalist....   [tags: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Walt Whitman, United States]

Better Essays
923 words (2.6 pages)

Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman Essay

- Walt Whitman is possibly one of the best examples of an artist who drew no distinctions between art and culture. To Whitman art is culture, and culture is history. His role as an artist must then be intrinsically manifesting himself as a representative of the America masses, or express himself as America personified. He saw democracy as an inseparable attribute of Americaness. However, the America he lived in was desperately fractured amongst differing factions with different opinions on the definition of “democracy”....   [tags: Walt Whitman on Democracy ]

Better Essays
2891 words (8.3 pages)