Walt Whitman- Humans and Nature

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Walt Whitman relates humans to nature in many of his poems. He often refers to us being part of the circle of life. Whitman believes in the idea that humans never really die. “I celebrate myself, and sing myself,” is one poem that he relates himself and humankind to nature.

In this poem, Whitman offers the idea that we are made from nature. One line reads, “My tongue, every atom of my blood, form’d from this soil, this air…” Whitman also believes that humans live on after death. In “A child said What is the grass?” Whitman asks what has become of people who have died. He answers this by writing, “They are alive and well somewhere, The smallest sprout shows there is really no death.” This is an example of his belief that life goes on, even after death.

Whitman talks more on this life after death in “The spotted hawk swoops by.” He says that when we die, we turn to the dirt, and he says if he is missed, to look under our shoes. To finish his poem he says, “Failing to fetch me at first keep encouraged, Missing me one place search another, I stop somewhere waiting for you.”

In “A Noiseless Patient Spider,” Whitman compares humans to a spider in nature. He says as spiders throw out their web, so do we also try to throw out our “web” to make connections with the universe. For example, we are now trying to decide on a college and career that will bridge to the next part of our life. He says that humankind is, “Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing, seeking the spheres to connect them…”

Walt Whitman was a great American poet who felt in sync with nature. In most of his poems, he tried to encompass the connection between nature and human beings. With use of vivid adjectives and verbs, he has made himself a great poet in American history.
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