The Symbolism and Verbs Usage in “When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer”: [Essay Example], 1043 words GradesFixer
exit-popup-close

Haven't found the right essay?

Get an expert to write your essay!

exit-popup-print

Professional writers and researchers

exit-popup-quotes

Sources and citation are provided

exit-popup-clock

3 hour delivery

exit-popup-persone
close
This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by professional essay writers.

The Symbolism and Verbs Usage in "When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer"

Download Print

Pssst… we can write an original essay just for you.

Any subject. Any type of essay.

We’ll even meet a 3-hour deadline.

Get your price

121 writers online

blank-ico
Download PDF

Propelling subjects into action, inciting inanimate objects into movement; verbs meet and surpass these functions. Without verbs a sentence would fail to be such, a clause would fall in rank down to a phrase or a simple phrase. There are three, generalized categories of verbs that pertain to “When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer” by Walt Whitman: action verbs, linking verbs, and helping verbs. Action verbs push the subject of the clause or sentence into motion, linking verbs establish a state of being, and helping verbs add onto both action and linking verbs to increase the detail of those verbs. A shift within the poem separates the text and corresponding verbs into halves; the shift falls at the beginning of the fifth ling after four succeeding clauses, where “when” starts each. The first half includes simple action verbs and a few helping verbs in addition to some verbs, the second half only contains linking and actions verbs, no helping verbs. Through the contrasting structure and content between the two halves, the verbs reveal that with science and math humans are able to create a relationship with nature so they can understand certain aspects of the mysteries behind it and not remain ignorant of the known workings of the world.

This split in the poem creates two distinct parts where the main verb implies one of the five senses and the subtleties within the text infer another. The first half explicitly states that the speaker “heard the learn’d astronomer” (1); the remainder of the half revolves around the events of the astronomer’s lecture. Amiss the lecture the speaker “was shown the charts and diagrams” (3) along with other mathematical and scientific tools. The images of “the proofs, the figures” (2) are ambiguous, vague. These tools are visual representation of mathematical ideas, but the speaker does not provide direct descriptions of what concepts the diagrams denote. The second half, in a similar yet opposite construction, has a focus on the sight of certain visuals and the emergence of sound. There is a direct statement that the speaker “look’d…at the stars” (8); although there is no specific details that provide to the imagery, the concept of a star has a concrete sight. Within the words of the second half, figurative elements illuminate sound. Assonance comes with the speaker’s movements as he/she is “rising and gliding out” (6), initial alliteration describes the “mystical, moist night-air” (7).

These sound devices add the effect of sound, yet no actual sound emits from the outside environment. In “perfect silence” (8) that speaker glances at the stars; throughout the speaker’s wanderings, no physical sound arises from his/her person. The second half clearly states that there is an absence of sound; the first half has no mention of the speaker’s contribution to the sound in the lecture. Here another inference emerges; for the speaker to hear the words from the lecture, he must remain silent. The clues for the speaker’s alleged silence appear within the verbs of the poem. The other verbs like “were ranged” (2) and “was shown” (3) are passive constructions of the verbs; those actions aren’t performed by the speaker, they’re done by the astronomer. The astronomer arranges “the proofs, the figures” (2), he displays “the charts and the diagrams” (3). As for the other verbs, the speaker “heard the…astronomer” (1), the speaker listens to the lecture. He/she doesn’t admit to interrupting the astronomer or “zoning out” during the lecture. Each half mirrors the other; the first expresses no utterance of sound while the second deliberately includes the word “silence”.

The contrasts within the halves aren’t limited to just the narrow view of the words and their effect, they appear in the setting of each half. At the beginning the speaker sits inside a lecture-room learning from an astronomer; after “much applause in the lecture-room” (4), the speaker “wander’d out” (6). The career description of an astronomer, found on an online dictionary, is a person who studies celestial objects, space, and the physical universe as a whole. The astronomer lectures on some topic of his career description, some phenomenon in the natural world. Talks of stars and other celestial objects occupy a man-made structure, charts and figures rest on humanity’s creations. For the astronomer to teach the complex observations behind nature he needs these synthetic technologies to watch and analyze space. As for the second half, the reversal is true; the astronomer needs science and math, human establishments, in order to analyze appearances in nature.

This symbiotic relationship reflects the parallels and contrasts within the poem as a whole. All the elements of the poem work together at different levels to balance out the various aspects of each part. The first half of the poem has lengthy lines that list off different types of subtle images; there are few explicit places where words plainly state a sound. In opposition, the second half has precise imagery and concise lines; there are multiple types of slight sound elements within the words. The reversal of the amount of sights and sounds reveals the complexity behind everything in the poem, how one half needs the other to prevent one sense from overpowering another. Alone the first half is a lopsided construction where the inexplicit overpowers the direct.

That very same principle applies to man and nature; if one dominates the other then they both lose the rewards of forming a relationship. If man only consumes the environment, they demolish that chance to embrace the information derived from nature; they ruin the opportunity to uncover certain mysteries within the natural world. Astronomy relies on the preservation of the universe. Without space the astronomer can’t unlock the mysteries of the stars and other celestial objects.

When the speaker “heard the…astronomer” (1), that link is clearly defined. Since the speaker listened to the lecture from an educated astronomer and learned about some of the universal discoveries. The astronomer, with his lecture, grants the speaker some insight into space; the speaker needed that lecture to understand the multiple layers behind the stars. Without that lecture, the stars would remain just stars. Those secrets of the universe would remain unknown; mysteries would stay hidden if people never to uncover and learn.

Remember: This is just a sample from a fellow student.

Your time is important. Let us write you an essay from scratch

100% plagiarism free

Sources and citations are provided

Find Free Essays

We provide you with original essay samples, perfect formatting and styling

Cite this Essay

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing style below:

The Symbolism and Verbs Usage in “When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer”. (2018, May 06). GradesFixer. Retrieved November 28, 2020, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/a-symbiotic-relationship/
“The Symbolism and Verbs Usage in “When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer”.” GradesFixer, 06 May 2018, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/a-symbiotic-relationship/
The Symbolism and Verbs Usage in “When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer”. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/a-symbiotic-relationship/> [Accessed 28 Nov. 2020].
The Symbolism and Verbs Usage in “When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer” [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2018 May 06 [cited 2020 Nov 28]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/a-symbiotic-relationship/
copy to clipboard
close

Sorry, copying is not allowed on our website. If you’d like this or any other sample, we’ll happily email it to you.

    By clicking “Send”, you agree to our Terms of service and Privacy statement. We will occasionally send you account related emails.

    close

    Attention! this essay is not unique. You can get 100% plagiarism FREE essay in 30sec

    Recieve 100% plagiarism-Free paper just for 4.99$ on email
    get unique paper
    *Public papers are open and may contain not unique content
    download public sample
    close

    Sorry, we cannot unicalize this essay. You can order Unique paper and our professionals Rewrite it for you

    close

    Thanks!

    Your essay sample has been sent.

    Want us to write one just for you? We can custom edit this essay into an original, 100% plagiarism free essay.

    thanks-icon Order now
    boy

    Hi there!

    Are you interested in getting a customized paper?

    Check it out!
    Having trouble finding the perfect essay? We’ve got you covered. Hire a writer

    GradesFixer.com uses cookies. By continuing we’ll assume you board with our cookie policy.