WHISPERS of heavenly death, murmur’d I hear;
Labial gossip of night—sibilant chorals;
Footsteps gently ascending—mystical breezes, wafted soft and low;
Ripples of unseen rivers—tides of a current, flowing, forever flowing;
(Or is it the plashing of tears? the measureless waters of human tears?)

I see, just see, skyward, great cloud-masses;
Mournfully, slowly they roll, silently swelling and mixing;
With, at times, a half-dimm’d, sadden’d, far-off star,
Appearing and disappearing.

(Some parturition, rather—some solemn, immortal birth:
On the frontiers, to eyes impenetrable,
Some Soul is passing over.)

Analysis, meaning and summary of the poem by

9 Comments

  1. Melissa says:

    I like that he deduces from all his senses, from the scene around him (which i just take to be a funeral, and its him observing everything around him) that there is this an invisible world “heaven” call it where death claims people. The funny thing is that it is an untangible unsenseable place, but yet his senses his environment seems to say that. I think that is the coolest part about this poem.

  2. Aemoh-san says:

    Didn’t you guys ever take basic poetry clas? First thing you have to do after you look at the title is read it at least three times. I, personaly like the poem because it’s a taad bit calming. That, or I’m still tired. XD

  3. Grizzly says:

    This poem is not stupid, unless you just believe poetry in general is stupid. Walt Whitman’s poem “Whispers of Heavenly Death” is a poem full of sorrow and death (Obviously) but it is describing feelings inside of mourning and maybe his life ws complicated at the time, and he could see all of these things around him becoming grim and mixed up. A soul passing over……. that sounds like he felt so much anguish in his life, maybe he even felt like he was dying. The poem is great, and very deep. I agree with Amanda. =)

  4. amanda says:

    i think walt whitman was a very deep man. his poems have so much to their interpretation.

  5. Corey Holmes says:

    how could you think this poem is stupid or confusing can you read .
    read it a couple of times
    you’ll get it

  6. enahs says:

    I agree with that nathan kid or guy. this is stupid

  7. Nathan says:

    poems to confusing to read.

  8. Bob says:

    Truly big Whitman was feeling his own mortatlitiy and
    he could feel his life thru the moving clouds of life
    cuz dark clouds are full of rain and his impending
    death was another life for him self, good poem

  9. tah says:

    its stupid

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Do you have any comments, criticism, paraphrasis or analysis of this poem that you feel would assist other visitors in understanding the meaning or the theme of this poem better? If they are accepted, they will be added to this page of American Poems. Together we can build a wealth of information, but it will take some discipline and determination.