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The Music " Crossing Brooklyn Ferry " is a poem about a man taking the Brooklyn ferry home from Manhattan at the end of a working day. Whitman's narrator begins the poem "seeing" the flood tide and the setting sun more clearly than his fellow passengers on the ferry; he regards the crowds as so removed from him that he cannot crossing brooklyn ferry essay help them: Crowds of men and women attired in the usual costumes, how curious you are to me.
On the ferry-boats the hundreds and hundreds that cross, returning home, are more curious to me than you suppose, And you that shall cross from shore to shore years hence are more to me, and more in my meditations, that you might suppose.
As the speaker shifts from addressing the crowd to the second person, something strange happens: Throughout the poem, he alternately despairs of his distance from his fellow men, and then feels himself coming to know them, as in the fifth section where he writes, "Closer yet I approach you.
With phrases like "The similitudes of the past and crossing brooklyn ferry essay help of the future," and "the others that are to follow me, the ties between them and me," he creates a rocking motion within each line, as well as a kind of distance between the speaker and the reader.
In addition, the expansive anaphoric lines mimic the movement of the boat and the ebb and flow of the tides, which is at once comforting, mesmerizing, and even, in its repetition, numbing.
The third section is a detailed description of the sights and sounds of the ferry ride that the speaker claims will be shared by every future rider of the ferry. The repetition of syntax is shown here to its full advantage and scope, where he begins each line with the word "just," invoking both the Bible and Shakespeareand serving the greater purpose of uniting the disparate elements of the scene around him.
Just as you feel when you look on the river and sky, so I felt, Just as any of you is one of a living crowd, I was one of a crowd, Just as you are refreshed by the gladness of the river and the bright flow, I was refreshed, Just as you stand and lean on the rail, yet hurry with the swift current, I stood yet was hurried, Just as you look on the numberless masts of ships and the thick-stemmed pipes of steamboats, I looked.
He gives equal weight to both natural and manmade images in this section, noticing the "numberless masts of ships" as well as "the swift current.
Each individual on the ferry, but also in the past, present and future of Whitman's world, as well as each disparate image, is at once completely separated and joined to a greater purpose, what he comes to call later "the soul. It is in the third section that the first of two central images of the poem are established, the seagulls: Watched the Twelfth-month sea-gulls, saw them high in the air floating with motionless wings, oscillating their bodies, Saw how the glistening yellow lit up parts of their bodies and left the rest in strong shadow, This is one of several "split" images in the poem representing both the speaker and the crowds from whom he feels distanced.
Like the seagulls, the speaker himself is split, somehow between the past and the future living in his own time, but apparently able to imagine the futureand is neither in Manhattan or Brooklyn, but between the two, both distanced from the world around him and inside it.
Throughout the poem, he will refer to shadows as the "dark patches" that have fallen upon him, comforting us that "It is not upon you alone the dark patches fall. It is not that the seagull he sees is either "bright" or "dark" but equally both, two opposites existing in one body, a contradiction.
The second central image of the poem is that of the speaker leaning over the edge of the boat with the sun behind his head and, seeing spokes of light surrounding his face, imagining that another passenger, endless numbers of other passengers, will someday look into the water and see the same thing.
If he claims that we will see what he sees, then we must, in some sense, be the same person—so that ultimately it doesn't matter whose head he sees there in the water.
The circle in the water is his head, the reader's head, and the sun itself at the same time, and so the experience of looking into the water is both great and small.
Because he is describing such a particular angle, no onlooker would be able to see what he saw, but at the same time, the sun itself might see it, or anyone looking into the water might see it with his own face.
The light at his back divides him in two, like the seagulls; his back is dark while his face is lit. There is something about this vision that is disorienting as well.Crossing Brooklyn Ferry, Walt Whitman - Crossing Brooklyn Ferry by Walt Whitman.
My Account. Essay about Crossing Brooklyn Ferry by Walt Whitman. Essay about Crossing Brooklyn Ferry by Walt Whitman. Length: words ( double-spaced pages) Rating: Better Essays. Open Document. Essay Preview Need Writing Help? Crossing Brooklyn Ferry is considered one of the greatest lyrical poems of all time.
In Crossing Brooklyn Ferry, Walt Whitman uses connotative diction, prying questions, and critical reader engagement to convey a feeling of connection and unity of people through time. By using these certain rhetoric strategies, Whitman creates a piece of poetry that .
Get an answer for 'I need help writing a short essay about Walt Whitman's "Crossing Brooklyn Ferry"?' and find homework help for other Literature questions at eNotes. It is about how the simple experience of riding a ferry and crossing the sea awakens within the poet a deep and profound insight about the movement of time and humanity moving along and being moved along by it.
We will write a custom essay sample on Crossing Brooklyn Ferry specifically for you for only company About StudyMoose . A summary of “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry” in Walt Whitman's Whitman’s Poetry. Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of Whitman’s Poetry and what it means.
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