15 Matching Annotations
  1. Apr 2017
    1. with many a flirt and flutter,

      Copy and paste as one line http://ir.uiowa.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1832&context=etd<br> We are often startled by close, sudden, and unexpected encounters with birds when they fly away from their hidings spots. In a fraction of a second, the feeling is like the heart fluttering in rhythm with their wings as our minds try to contemplate where the bird is going next. This may be due to most birds having higher metabolisms that humans, as second to us might be like 20 seconds to them. Readers might not start to feel such sensory effects that Poe intended until they reach the purposefully capitalized "R" of the symbolic Raven as the bird figuratively flies over Poe's head and human senses and into his bed chamber, mind, and poem. Walt Whitman also uses similar bird mannerisms to produce heightening sensory effects in "A Word Out of the Sea": ...."From such, as now they start, the scene revisiting, As a flock, twittering, rising, or overhead passing, Borne hither—ere all eludes me, hurriedly,".... "every day the he-bird, to and fro, near at hand"...."Over the hoarse surging of the sea, Or flitting from brier to brier by day, I saw, I heard at intervals, the remaining one, the he-bird" .... "O night! do I not see my love fluttering out there among the breakers?" Both authors are moved enough to "speak" to the birds which symbolize their both authors' states of despair and mourning. Adam Cunliffe Bradford touches on this in his book, "Communities of death: Walt Whitman, Edgar Allan Poe, and the nineteenth-century American culture of mourning and memorializing", "Whitman’s songs, spurred to life by the mockingbird’s aria and sung in response to it, necessarily weaves the previous melodic elements of both of these songs into his own transcendent aria" Bradford, Adam Cunliffe. "Communities of death: Walt Whitman, Edgar Allan Poe, and the nineteenth-century American culture of mourning and memorializing." PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) thesis, University of Iowa, 2010. http://ir.uiowa.edu/etd/647. **

    1. 9He call'd on his mate;He pour'd forth the meanings which I, of all men,know.10Yes, my brother, I know;The rest might not—but I have treasur'd every note;

      http://library.globalchalet.net/Authors/Poetry%20Books%20Collection/So%20Long!%20Walt%20Whitmans%20Poetry%20of%20Death.pdf Harold Aspiz points out in his book, "So Long! Walt Whitman's Poetry of Death: Walt Whitman's Poetry of Death" that people spanning back as far as the Greek poets have desired to translate bird song into poetry. While they and Whitman didn't have tape players, CD's, or I-Pods to replay the songs, we can easily relate to both the happiness the mockingbird experiences when with its mate and the incessant but futile calls when it's mate disappears. https://muse.jhu.edu/book/2301 Aspiz, Harold. So Long! Walt Whitman's Poetry of Death : Walt Whitman's Poetry of Death. Tuscaloosa, US: University Alabama Press, 2011. ProQuest ebrary. Web. 25 April 2017.

    2. From the memories of the bird that chanted to me,From your memories, sad brother—from the fitful risings and fallings I heard,

      Various forms of symbolism are shared here between Poe's "The Raven", and Whitman. While the bird in this poem more directly symbolizes a lament for a lost former lover of Whitman's than the raven in "The Raven" represents the evil gloom of Poe's despair, "risings and fallings" of the Whitman's "sea of despair" relate to Poe's use of the eventual cresting of his despair when the raven arrives in his chamber, "Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore,— Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!" According to "The Limits of Whitman's Symbolism" by V. K. Chari, the sea in Whitman's poem, "acquires a subtle symbolic power by the suggested equivalence between its savage undertones and moanings, its * fitful risings and fallings ' and the inarticulate sobbings of the poet's heart."<br> Chari, V. K. “The Limits of Whitman's Symbolism.” Journal of American Studies, vol. 5, no. 2, 1971, pp. 173–184., www.jstor.org/stable/27670641.

    3. Once, Paumanok

      Paumanok is the Algonquin name for "Long Island". While the meaning of the name is unclear, some scholars think that it means, "Land of Tribute", "Fish Shaped", or "land where there is traveling by water". Whitman is attempting to romanticize the area of his birth by setting it back to previous times unspoiled by European settlement.

    1. turn it      rightside up again

      That seems like an overly tall order, but many people think that they have the strength, wherewithal, and power to do it. Sojourner Truth here takes an altruistic approach toward women redeeming what Eve and Adam had done to bring sin into the world. While humans are imperfect, the devil had the strength and guile to deceive Eve and Adam. This may be connected with Melville's main character, the head scrivener, feeling empathy and common humanity for Bartleby. "For the first time in my life a feeling of overpowering stinging melancholy seized me. Before, I had never experienced aught but a not-unpleasing sadness. The bond of a common humanity now drew me irresistibly to gloom. ! For both I and Bartleby were sons of Adam"

    1. go into the country

      Going into the country is sometimes the answer when you've had enough of the hustle and bustle of the city for the current time. It also can be a place to completely detach from one life to start another as there may be less societal pressures. Sara Willis here relates to Whitman's love of the country as it's a place where you may shed your aspirations, (clothes?), and inhibitions to be your relaxed, true self.

    2. Borgia-like

      The House of Borgia was an Italo-Spanish family who rose to power underhandedly during the Renaissance. Although they influence two popes being elected, they were suspected of many murders by poisoning, as this painting by John Collier "A glass of wine with Ceasar Borgia" shows the hesitancy in the young man about to have his wine glass filled with possibly poisonous wine. Sara Willis here relates to Thoreau's disdain for those who seek to destroy their opponents and obtain a majority who makes all of the important decisions.

  2. Mar 2017
    1. she is every bit as much as the father.

      Part of me wanted to see a descriptive adjective after the word "much" (As much respectable?, alive?, equal?). I think that Whitman had a little play on grammatical structure here by not including one. Notice the other nouns that accompany "husband" and "father in their respective sentences: "jot": 2. n the least part of something; a little bit: I don't care a jot. "bit" (many variable definitions nouns/idioms): 1 idiom: a small piece or quantity of anything: a bit of string. Keep it simple, eh?

    2. with skirts to hold up

      Here's some perspective on the continuation of the Victorian-style dresses of the 1850's which aren't exactly puddle-stomping material (click "more" on bottom right to see other dresses): .

    1. Man, where is your part?

      The answer to this question is the part of St. Joseph, the spouse of Mary, as both Joseph and Mary followed God's orders to bring Jesus into the world, name him Jesus, and raise him properly. "20 "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins," he did as the angel told him and took Mary as his wife. (Matthew 1:19-25).

    1. Among the manifestations of his diseased ambition was a fondness he had for receiving visits from certain ambiguous-looking fellows in seedy coats, whom he called his clients. Indeed I was aware that not only was he, at times, considerable of a ward-politician, but he occasionally did a little business at the Justices’ courts, and was not unknown on the steps of the Tombs. I have good reason to believe, however, that one individual who called upon him at my chambers, and who, with a grand air, he insisted was his client, was no other than a dun, and the alleged title-deed, a bill.

      The word "dun" is defiined as, "noun 2. a person, esp a hired agent, who importunes another for the payment of a debt<br> Melville relates how the business, legal, and government worlds of Wall Street are combined within the character of Nippers, as he seemed to have been involved in Wall Street politics that incurred debts to be paid. This mingles with Thoreau's idea of government as a legally binding, debt-incurring instrument.

    2. “Do you not see the reason for yourself,” he indifferently replied.

      Ah, answering a question with a question: either a deliberate rudeness or an apathetic request for attention. I think the latter is the case here.

    3. turning my pale plaster-of-paris bust of Cicero out of doors.

      I'm guessing that the character of Cicero might have some reflection to play in these parts. I'd have to research further to draw up a conclusion.

    1. Pharisees

      The Pharisees were considered experts of Mosaic Law, and often followed it all too well, as Jesus often scorned them for neglecting "practical matters" of mercy and of overconfidence of their own righteousness. An example of this is shown in The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector: Luke 18:9-14 9 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

      13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

      14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

    2. The fact that the church of our country, (with fractional exceptions), does not esteem “the Fugitive Slave Law” as a declaration of war against religious liberty, implies that that church regards religion simply as a form of worship, an empty ceremony, and not a vital principle, requiring active benevolence, justice, love and good will towards man.

      Douglass describes how religious liberty seems hollow in the country if the principles of Christianity aren't practiced along with mere preaching. He also uses strong language concerning the Fugitive Slave law as a "declaration of war" against religious liberty. This is an interesting point, as he views the law as hindering his and other Christians' ability to carry out and practice Christianity by helping fugitive slaves. This idea of too much government causing suppression of religion correlates to Thoreau's minimalistic desires of government