Five Walt Whitman poems. Metaphors, diction, syntax, form, rhyme scheme, and other literary techniques.

Essay by oxojrtloveroxoCollege, UndergraduateA+, April 2003

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Walt Whitman's poetry is relatively formless and his random patterns have a significant effect on the meaning evoked from the poems. Whitman has a constant theme of the link between nature/natural experience and humans. He expresses his emotions and opinions through his poems. Some of his poems are very personable, which makes them very easier to understand and more enjoyable to read.

"Crossing Brooklyn Ferry" is a poem about the sharing of experiences. All humans are somehow connected through the common experiences they encounter. It has no rhyme scheme or form and it is end-stopped.


Flood-tide below me! I see you face to face!

Clouds of the west--sun there half an hour high--I see you also face

to face.

Crowds of men and women attired in the usual costumes, how curious

you are to me!

On the ferry-boats the hundreds and hundreds that cross, returning

home, are more curious to me than you suppose,

And you that shall cross from shore to shore years hence are more

to me, and more in my meditations, than you might suppose.

Whitman expresses his feelings toward the strangers surrounding him. He says that these people matter to him more than they would ever realize. He uses nature (water, clouds, and the sunrise) and links nature with the motion of people.


The impalpable sustenance of me from all things at all hours of the day,

The simple, compact, well-join'd scheme, myself disintegrated, every

one disintegrated yet part of the scheme,

The similitudes of the past and those of the future,

The glories strung like beads on my smallest sights and hearings, on

the walk in the street and the passage over the river,

The current rushing so swiftly and swimming with me far away,

The others that are to follow me,