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Analysis and comments on On the Beach at Night. by Walt Whitman

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Comment 14 of 94, added on May 31st, 2010 at 11:09 AM.
Pleiades Brother/Sister

Regarding the comments on the "Swim the delicate brothers, the Pleiades."
as incorrect. It is not. Many cultures have stories behind this
constellation. In Whitman's time he could be referring to the Lithuanian
legend tying the constellation to the "7 sleeping brothers."

Search on the term: "Lithuanian Ethnoastronomy" for more information on the
7 brothers.

This poem is correctly quoted.



Rob Keown from United States
Comment 13 of 94, added on December 14th, 2009 at 8:09 PM.

In “On the Beach at Night Alone,” Walt Whitman implies that everyone and
everything is connected to nature. Whitman uses a variety of writing
techniques to get his point across. First, the repetition and parallel
structure that his poems contain reinforce the connection between
everything in nature. The usage of “All” 11 times emphasizes the inclusion
of everything in the universe. The sentence structure remains the same
throughout the poem, without any drastic change; however, the length of the
lines in the poem vary. In addition, Whitman’s’ extravagance with his words
further illustrates his idea of the Over-Soul. For example, “A vast
similitude interlocks all” (4) shows his verbose nature. Whitman does not
do directly to the point, but gives every little detail. Most importantly,
Whitman’s’ use of catalogues stands as the most recognizable Whitman
characteristic that illustrates his beliefs. These long lists that he uses
set the mood of the poem. “All spheres, grown, ungrown, small, large, suns,
moons, planets,” (5) shows the idea that everything is connected in nature.
Similarly, “All nations, colors, barbarisms, civilizations languages.” (10)
furthermore emphasize Whitman’s belief in the Over-Soul.
Although Whitman uses a great deal of structural ways to stress his ideas,
he also uses many other ways of delivering his ideas. First of all, Whitman
portrays himself as a public spokesman of the masses. The tone of the poem
is a very loud, informative tone that grabs ones attention. The emphasis
placed on the word “all” adds to the characterization of Whitman as a
powerful speaker. Furthermore, Whitman takes part in his own poem.
Participating in his own poem, Whitman moreover illustrates the connection
between everything in life. Lastly, Whitman, most of all, celebrates
universal brotherhood and democracy. Once again, the inclusion of the word
“all” so many times demonstrates Whitman’s belief in that everyone is
connected no matter what their position is in society. Whitman stresses the
fact that all humans are equal in that “All identities that have existed or
may exist on this globe” (11) share similar connections with nature.
Ultimately, Whitman’s belief in the Over-Soul reveals the bond between
nature and the universe.


Kaleigh Bartlett from United States
Comment 12 of 94, added on July 11th, 2009 at 6:26 PM.

Closing lines to this movie give greater understanding as to what the poet
may mean. Whitman also wrote the poem about life being more than an endless
dream, that it is real, it is earnest and the grave is not its goal. He
states that he wants life to mean more than just no more. Watch the movie.
It is a repeat of a 1959 movie by the same name with a little different
storyline. Joy comes in the morning.

MAgrit from United States
Comment 11 of 94, added on October 20th, 2008 at 3:34 PM.

A very moving poem..but the Pleiades are sisters and not brothers! I think
you have quoted it wrongly

nickclark0@hotmail.co.uk
Comment 10 of 94, added on December 18th, 2006 at 7:12 PM.

I think that this poem is about love which is an everlasting passion - more
immortial than the stars on the sky. This should be the real consolation
for the child who had probably lost her mother. Like the stars from the
sky, so the passion of her mother should always shine in life of the child.

Peter from Slovakia Republic
Comment 9 of 94, added on April 28th, 2006 at 9:02 AM.

It is true that the death of a mother is not mentioned, but if you read the
poetry of dozens of other poets, they also do not mention the actual
subject of their poems. It is left for us to ponder and figuer out. Like a
riddle. The first sign that made me think that it was the death of a
mother, was the mention of "burial" clouds. And it flowed into other signs
as well. This poem is just awesome.

Jessica from United States
Comment 8 of 94, added on April 19th, 2006 at 2:18 PM.

this poem is incredible at showing theinnocence of a child. yet, there is a
slight mystery to it, since Walt Whitman doesn't say that the mother died,
it is very logical to think so..
its beautiful

bird fancy from United States
Comment 7 of 94, added on March 22nd, 2006 at 9:05 PM.

I think this poem is wonderful and creative. But if you look deeper into
the meaning of this poem, one may think that it may be a father and
daughter standing on a beach, mourning over the loss of the mother. To a
little girl, her mother is the sun, moon and stars. And the father reminds
the daughter that love will last longer than even the moon and stars. Look
into the meaning of the words and read between the lines. It can look to be
a very sad poem with a very deep meaning.

Jessica from United States
Comment 6 of 94, added on January 23rd, 2006 at 10:49 PM.

Something there is,
(With my lips soothing thee, adding, I whisper,
I give thee the first suggestion, the problem and indirection,)
"Something there is more immortal even than the stars,
(Many the burials, many the days and nights, passing away,)
Something that shall endure longer even than lustrous Jupiter,
Longer than sun, or any revolving satellite,
Or the radiant brothers, the Pleiades." - Wonderful poem...Seems like he
may be referring to there love. Does anyone else think this?

Nick from United States
Comment 5 of 94, added on December 14th, 2005 at 10:24 AM.

WOW this poem is awesome! It's really deep...it also reminded me of me and
my dad a while ago when i was little....

Katherine from United States

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Information about On the Beach at Night.

Poet: Walt Whitman
Poem: 5. On the Beach at Night.
Volume: Leaves of Grass
- 19. Sea-Shore Memories
Year: 1900
Added: Feb 7 2004
Viewed: 424 times
Poem of the Day: Mar 8 2004


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