- By Walt Whitman
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Walter Whitman (/ˈhwɪtmən/; May 31, 1819 – March 26, 1892) was an American poet, essayist, and journalist. A humanist, he was a part of the transition between transcendentalism and realism, incorporating both views in his works. Whitman is among the most influential poets in the American canon, often called the father of free verse.[1] His work was controversial in its time, particularly his poetry collection Leaves of Grass, which was described as obscene for its overt sensuality. Whitman's own life came under scrutiny for his presumed homosexuality. Born in Huntington on Long Island, as a child and through much of his career he resided in Brooklyn. At age 11, he left formal schooling to go to work. Later, Whitman worked as a journalist, a teacher, and a government clerk. Whitman's major poetry collection, Leaves of Grass, was first published in 1855 with his own money and became well known. The work was an attempt at reaching out to the common person with an American epic. He continued expanding and revising it until his death in 1892. During the American Civil War, he went to Washington, D.C. and worked in hospitals caring for the wounded. His poetry often focused on both loss and healing. On the death of Abraham Lincoln, whom Whitman greatly admired, he wrote his well known poems, "O Captain! My Captain!" and "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd", and gave a series of lectures. After a stroke towards the end of his life, Whitman moved to Camden, New Jersey, where his health further declined. When he died at age 72, his funeral was a public event.[2][3]


"Astronomer" by Stuart Rankin is licensed under CC by-NC 2.0.

When I heard the learn'd astronomer,
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me,
When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them,
When I sitting heard the astronomer where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,
How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick,
Till rising and gliding out I wander'd off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look'd up in perfect silence at the stars.

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Word Lists:

Astronomer : an expert in or student of astronomy.

Unaccountable : unable to be explained

Diagram : a simplified drawing showing the appearance, structure, or workings of something; a schematic representation

Mystical : relating to mystics or religious mysticism

Applause : approval or praise expressed by clapping

Chart : a sheet of information in the form of a table, graph, or diagram

Lecture : an educational talk to an audience, especially to students in a university or college.

Column : an upright pillar, typically cylindrical and made of stone or concrete, supporting an entablature, arch, or other structure or standing alone as a monument

Proof : evidence or argument establishing or helping to establish a fact or the truth of a statement

Tired :


Additional Information:

Words: 1290

Unique Words : 60

Sentences : 1

Reading Time : 0:23

Noun : 24

Conjunction : 6

Adverb : 9

Interjection : 0

Adjective : 6

Pronoun : 8

Verb : 15

Preposition : 12

Letter Count : 371

Sentiment : Negative

Tone : Neutral

Difficult Words : 23

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