A review of Walt Whitman's "Live Oak, with Moss"

Essay by BGoliniHigh School, 12th gradeF, January 1996

download word file, 2 pages 4.3 1 reviews

Downloaded 125 times

Walt Whitman's Live Oak, With Moss , is an intricate portrayal of love, both physical and mental. Throughout the poem, Whitman incorporates an array of metaphors symbolic of love and the many characteristics associated with love. Dissimilar to mainstream poetry, Whitman introduces a friend-lover relationship between two men, describing the pain and happiness associated with their love.

Throughout Live Oak, With Moss, Whitman illustrates the great pleasure associated with love. Introducing his love as a consuming burning flame, Whitman affectively gains the complete attention of the reader. Once convenient, Whitman begins to describe the many sensations associated with his love. Using the wind, the water, fire and nature as his tools, Whitman encompasses the reader with a sense of warmth and love. Before venturing on to specifics, Whitman reveals the meaning of Live Oak, With Moss . Symbolic of himself, he describes the Live Oak, With Moss as a rude, unbending, and lusty creature, alone in a field, with only soft moss for comfort.

The significance of the description is overwhelming. Whitman see's himself as a rude, closed-minded, and lusty person, who spends a considerable amount of time alone. However, Whitman views himself as a different person when he is in the company of his companion. With the live Oak representing Whitman, and the tender green Moss representing Whitman's companion, these two separate entities form one. Happy, loving, and open-minded, the love emanating from Whitman is a sign of true life.

As the poem progresses on, Whitman uncovers the sadness of his life. Viewing praise as a hollow feeling, Whitman expresses his constant sadness in life.

" When I heard at the close of the day how I had been praised in the Capitol

still it was not a happy night for me that followed;

Nor when I...