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Analysis and comments on When I heard the Learn’d Astronomer. by Walt Whitman

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Comment 18 of 98, added on March 19th, 2006 at 9:07 AM.

When you overanalyze something, looking too deep into the mysteries, it
seems to stop having all of its wonder until you can back up and look at it
again from the perspective of the innocently curious, not the one who wants
to know everything about it. Numbers mean nothing until you can take a step
back and say "Wow. That's beautiful. Let's leave it at that."

Asterik from United States
Comment 17 of 98, added on January 22nd, 2006 at 5:26 PM.

Thats what happens when you try to analyze everything that comes your
way...it loses its natural beauty and mystery

AZ from United States
Comment 16 of 98, added on December 27th, 2005 at 6:29 PM.

As an amateur astronomer, I have found the rigors of the science to be
destracting from the beauty and love I once felt for the night sky. This
poem sums up my deepest feelings for that love and inspires me to never

That is what good poetry is all about.

David Ryle from United States
Comment 15 of 98, added on November 4th, 2005 at 11:00 AM.

this is one of my favorite poems of all time. i feel the same way as
whitman described in the peom. sick of the numbers and the math. when u
take something and anazlyze it u tend to forget the beauty that god gave
it. numbers are meanigless. in the bible it says "Be still and know that
i am God." this is what its talking about.....

matt whitaker from United States
Comment 14 of 98, added on June 19th, 2005 at 1:35 AM.

Experiencing something for yourself is much better than listening to
someone else telling you how it is done. It is pretty much saying that he
walks out of class after listening to the professor bore him to death and
visualize the stars. Whitman is a homosexual and that is true of the
previous poster has said.

yongxing from United States
Comment 13 of 98, added on June 7th, 2005 at 3:40 PM.

i think the poem means exaclty what it says. he goes into a lecture and
finds himself so bored and sick of the topic. but he leaves the place,
realizing that he has learned something. the knowledge he acquired from
this astronomy course has helped him appreciate nature. and looking up at
the stars has never looked so beautiful to him before. the astronomy
professor has helped him grow an appreciation for the stars in the sky.
it's like students; we go to school and we dread the lectures. but we come
out of the classroom and we realize that the topic may have seemed to suck
before, but we are grateful to have learned what we did. and the world is
a more beautiful place because we understand it a little more.

sy from United States
Comment 12 of 98, added on May 22nd, 2005 at 7:21 AM.

The astronomer has learned about the stars and can only project his
learning. The poet experiences the 'experienceable unknown'-- as it is, in
silence, in its beauty.

Bhaswat Chakraborty from India
Comment 11 of 98, added on May 21st, 2005 at 6:24 PM.

I think that the poem demonstrates that opposites co-exist. There is a
dialectic tension between facts and intuition, thinkers and feelers,
introverts and extroverts, processors and deciders, knowing and
experiencing, observing and participating, classroom/book knowledge and
experiential learning.

Sandy from United States
Comment 10 of 98, added on March 24th, 2005 at 11:28 PM.

i think this poem had nothing to do with stars and astronomy at all, I
don't know how much we really know about Whitman himself, however I have
read that he was actually admittingly a homo-sexual. I feel that Whitman
felt trapped in a world, or "lecture-hall" busy and noisy, being taught how
to figure out and measure "diagrams" that he had no interest in. he felt
"tired and sick" but once he escaped all of that and entered his own
world, he was happy, leaving all behind

luis from United States
Comment 9 of 98, added on March 8th, 2005 at 8:17 PM.

i dont think this poem has to do with stars at all. i think Whitman was
trying to say that when you over analyze something it looses its true
beautiful. stars was just the example he used.

matt whitaker from United States

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Information about When I heard the Learn’d Astronomer.

Poet: Walt Whitman
Poem: 5. When I heard the Learn’d Astronomer.
Volume: Leaves of Grass
- 15. Songs of Parting
Year: 1900
Added: Feb 7 2004
Viewed: 32416 times
Poem of the Day: Oct 4 2011

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By: Walt Whitman

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