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Analysis and comments on I Sit and Look Out. by Walt Whitman

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Comment 23 of 323, added on February 23rd, 2008 at 3:21 AM.

I went to high school in the southern part of the U.S.A. in the 60's. A big
billboard with a hooded KKK person on a horse had printed on it welcome to
the heart of KKK Land. It was to welcomed (some) people to our community.
This poem gave me truth and hope then. I recited this poem with great
emotion to a large auditorium filled with white teanagers and teachers. I
loved Walt Whitman then and now. I as a teenager sat and looked out at so
much then but felt trapped in this community. I no longer live there. Now
as an adult I have worked with individuals who have disabilities and
children and adults who have been abused and neglect. Veterans who were
injured physically and emotionaly. I oppose the Iraq war and voice my
opion. My father was in Vietnam when I lived in the south, and now my son
justed served and was injured in Irag.
What an epiphany the reading has been for me after 40 years. This poem is
timeless! It inspires people to make a difference and not just sit and look

Tony from United States
Comment 22 of 323, added on January 8th, 2008 at 12:22 PM.

I think that this poem reflects exactly what is going on in our pretty
planet and it will always be like that. Since humankind can remember life
always wasn't fair. So don't try to change something that won't change
anyway! try to be in the best position! that's what i learned from this

Ranzobert Fick Dich! from Venezuela
Comment 21 of 323, added on December 18th, 2007 at 11:07 AM.

This is such a deep poem. For him to be able to write about what is
happening during his age and for it to transfer over to ours... wow.

I wouldn't have been able to say it better myself in a long elaborated
essay. I have also done this poem for my 11th grade AP english project.
It cleary states how the world is molding its self...

corruption all around... and if people do see what is happening.. do little
or nothing to stop it.

Paige from United States
Comment 20 of 323, added on September 10th, 2007 at 2:30 AM.

This poem represents so much more than politics. It is an almost perfect
reflection of society, then and now. It shows how so many people suffer
from injustices, like discrimination, racism, disabilities and the like and
many people choose to say "I'm so lucky thats not me, dont know what I'd do
if it was me" but then they choose, as the poem suggests, to sit back and
watch it all go by and not lift a hand to prevent or solve these
injustices. The last line "I see, hear and am silent." I believe has two
meanings, one the meaning that we see these terrible things happen and do
nothing, and two, that some people who see enough of life are physically
silenced by the barbarity of the bad things.

Mel from Australia
Comment 19 of 323, added on May 15th, 2007 at 7:13 PM.

as one of the comments mentioned i also agree that whitman can be speaking
as god.

alyssa amore from United States
Comment 18 of 323, added on May 4th, 2007 at 4:30 AM.

i had to do an assignment (year 11) based on poetica i chose to study this
poem particularly as it can have so many different meanings as each
indervidual interperates the poem!

however i feel strongly that whitman is tryinng to make the point that this
is our world and whilst we may not agree with the way things are running or
happening we still choose to sit back and not try to change it
as i say, "we are the future, we make the world wat we want by
who we are"

and whilst we think that one person cant make a difference it can

i believe MR whitman is telling us to take charge, not to be afraid to
stand up for ourselves and what we belive in. to make change!

but each to their own

mary 17 years old from Australia
Comment 17 of 323, added on March 23rd, 2007 at 2:21 PM.

this was great !

emilee from China
Comment 16 of 323, added on May 28th, 2006 at 2:32 PM.

this poema it think is reflecting emotions which inspired wold players like
Nelson Mandela and others to act on human suffering and injustice toward

elsa from United States
Comment 15 of 323, added on April 22nd, 2006 at 11:22 AM.

I read all the comments, and it seems like everyone assumes that Walt
Whitman is the person speaking in this poem. Wouldn't it be much more
ironic to interpretate this poem and say the God is the one who is sitting,
looks out upon, sees, hears, and is silent? is that sort of interpretation

moonriver from Israel
Comment 14 of 323, added on April 1st, 2006 at 7:42 AM.

I think the last sentence gives the most meaning to me.

"All these—All the meanness and agony without end, I sitting, look out
See, hear, and am silent."

I think this poem is about all the bad things in the world and that people
just observe them, they see that its injustice but they do nothing about
it. They keep still. Whitman is making a point that, no one stands up to
the injustices of the world, to make things right, as he makes no kind of
hint that people put some kind of action to prevent these things. Whitman
is urging us, not just to see and hear the meanness and the agony of people
suffering in the world, but to put right what is unjust. It might not be
what you interpreted from the poem but it is what I got.

Simone from Australia

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Information about I Sit and Look Out.

Poet: Walt Whitman
Poem: 1. I Sit and Look Out.
Volume: Leaves of Grass
- 4. Leaves of Grass
Year: 1900
Added: Feb 7 2004
Viewed: 27353 times
Poem of the Day: Jul 5 2006

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By: Walt Whitman

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