Whalt Whitman's Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking

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Christine Moloney
Adv. English F Block
May 10, 2011

Walt Whitman's “Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking” holds an extraordinary group of verbs throughout the poem. Among the commonly used verbs are others that make whole lines entirely more striking. After the first five lines, a few verbs really jump out at me. “Down from the shower'd halo” strikes me as a powerful way to illustrate moonbeams (5). The verb “shower'd” is similar to, yet much different than a moonbeam that shimmered or shone. The context that “shower'd” is used in makes me think that the beam of light is somehow more plentiful and even a little brighter.

“Up from the mystic play of shadows twining an twisting as if they were alive.” Twisting and twining are two verbs that are not so commonly together. Interestingly, the “t” sounds compliment the motion being described by the verbs. Not only are the verbs full of action imagery themselves, but the phrase is finished with “as if they were alive,” adding an extra dimension the the already outstanding line.

“Throwing myself on the sand, confronting the waves.” The two verbs in this line portray the speaker's melancholy. They over exaggerate the actions of lying down in the sand and watching the waves to add a deeper level of gloom and desperation. If any other verbs had been used in this place, I do not think the same emotions would be felt by the reader, since Whitman uses the strongest verbs possible to get his audience to sympathize with the story.

“Cautiously peering, absorbing, translating.” This is the only line in the poem with three hard hitting verbs in a row.
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