Monday, December 7, 2015

Week 12: 11/17-11/23

"Song of the Open Road" by Walt Whitman

We started of class with learning about some of the background of Walt Whitman's poetry style and this really helped me understand his poem just that much more. Our sub told us about Whitmans use of "I", "myself" and how these subject words are very important parts of him poems. Another thing that helped me understand the poem more was how Whitman is called a, "poet of America." Meaning he is a 'democratic poet' and uses the theme of equality.

In the second section of the poem, it touches on the idea of democracy. When I first read this section, I was really intrigued by his uses of juxtaposition between all the different types of people he listed, from the rich person's carriage to the beggar's tramp. After discussing this theme of democracy, I understand further what Whitman was trying to portray. This theme makes this plethora of people all on a level playing field. Whitman is saying that no man is above another and that we are all equal. Not only does he say everyone equal, but this section is where the journey of the main character really begins. He is now on the road and say how the road makes one realize everyone is equal. The road will accept everyone no matter what characteristics they possess.
Equality is definitely something I support, but I didn't think about how radical it was for Whitman to portray this theme in the time period he was in. Not only do I think poetry is the perfect art form to portray these kind of ideas, but I also think it was very brave of him to go against the normal mindset of this time.

'Radical Man'
We looked at a photo of Whitman in class and I thought this was very telling of Whitmans character. In this photo, he showed his cocky persona. It really explained his label of being a 'radical man'. He has his hand on his hip, his face is very serious, his hat is tipped, and his shirt is unbuttoned. Now a days some of these things are seen as normal, but bad then these were against the grain showing his radicalness against the norms of the time.
I'm really glad we looked at this photo in class because I don think I would have thought to look up what he looks like. Seeing someone physically to go along with a name can be very telling. Even though you shouldn't judge based on appearance, I think you can learn a lot about someone just by looking at them and what kind of attitude they give off.
Section 9:
In section 9, they had a theme that really stuck out to me and just some lines that I really loved. The line, "I swear to you there are divine things more beautiful than words can tell." I just thought this line was beautifully put. It's just one of those inspirations quotes that I could use every once in a while in my life. It reminds me to appreciate my surroundings, but also to remember that if I'm going through a hard time, that their is always something beautiful waiting for me to come.

Comfort zones:
In another line it says, "However sweet these laid-up stores, however convenient this dwelling we cannot remain here / ... we must not anchor here." This brought up the theme of not staying in ones comfort zone. And it really related to my new adventure her at Gonzaga. It related to my current endeavor or being a recruit for AKPsi. Its something I never imagined myself joining, but stepping out of my comfort zone has really be the best thing possible for me and AKPsi has truly been one of my favorite things I've been apart of here at Gonzaga.

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