'Song At Sunset' by Walt Whitman

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SPLENDOR of ended day, floating and filling me!
Hour prophetic--hour resuming the past!
Inflating my throat--you, divine average!
You, Earth and Life, till the last ray gleams, I sing.

Open mouth of my Soul, uttering gladness,
Eyes of my Soul, seeing perfection,
Natural life of me, faithfully praising things;
Corroborating forever the triumph of things.

Illustrious every one!
Illustrious what we name space--sphere of unnumber'd spirits;10
Illustrious the mystery of motion, in all beings, even the tiniest
Illustrious the attribute of speech--the senses--the body;
Illustrious the passing light! Illustrious the pale reflection on the
new moon in the western sky!
Illustrious whatever I see, or hear, or touch, to the last.

Good in all,
In the satisfaction and aplomb of animals,
In the annual return of the seasons,
In the hilarity of youth,
In the strength and flush of manhood,
In the grandeur and exquisiteness of old age,20
In the superb vistas of Death.

Wonderful to depart;
Wonderful to be here!
The heart, to jet the all-alike and innocent blood!
To breathe the air, how delicious!
To speak! to walk! to seize something by the hand!
To prepare for sleep, for bed--to look on my rose-color'd flesh;
To be conscious of my body, so satisfied, so large;
To be this incredible God I am;
To have gone forth among other Gods--these men and women I love. 30

Wonderful how I celebrate you and myself!
How my thoughts play subtly at the spectacles around!
How the clouds pass silently overhead!
How the earth darts on and on! and how the sun, moon, stars, dart on
and on!
How the water sports and sings! (Surely it is alive!)
How the trees rise and stand up--with strong trunks--with branches
and leaves!
(Surely there is something more in each of the tree--some living

O amazement of things! even the least particle!
O spirituality of things!
O strain musical, flowing through ages and continents--now reaching
me and America!40
I take your strong chords--I intersperse them, and cheerfully pass
them forward.

I too carol the sun, usher'd, or at noon, or, as now, setting,
I too throb to the brain and beauty of the earth, and of all the
growths of the earth,
I too have felt the resistless call of myself.

As I sail'd down the Mississippi,
As I wander'd over the prairies,
As I have lived--As I have look'd through my windows, my eyes,
As I went forth in the morning--As I beheld the light breaking in the
As I bathed on the beach of the Eastern Sea, and again on the beach
of the Western Sea;
As I roam'd the streets of inland Chicago--whatever streets I have
Or cities, or silent woods, or peace, or even amid the sights of war;
Wherever I have been, I have charged myself with contentment and

I sing the Equalities, modern or old,
I sing the endless finales of things;
I say Nature continues--Glory continues;
I praise with electric voice;
For I do not see one imperfection in the universe;
And I do not see one cause or result lamentable at last in the

O setting sun! though the time has come,
I still warble under you, if none else does, unmitigated

Editor 1 Interpretation

Poetry Criticism and Interpretation: "Song At Sunset" by Walt Whitman

As a lover of poetry, it is impossible not to be struck by the raw emotion and beauty of Walt Whitman's "Song At Sunset". This classic poem, first published in 1867 as part of his collection "Drum-Taps", is a powerful tribute to the beauty of nature and the human spirit. It captures the essence of the American landscape and celebrates the simple pleasures of life.

At its core, "Song At Sunset" is a celebration of the beauty of the natural world. From the opening lines, Whitman immerses the reader in a vision of the setting sun:

Splendor of ended day, floating and filling me, Hour prophetic, hour resuming the past, Inflating my throat, you divine average, You earth and life till the last ray gleams I sing.

The imagery here is stunning - the "splendor" of the day's end, the sense of prophecy and resurrection, the inflation of the throat with song. Whitman paints a vivid picture of the sun sinking below the horizon, filling the world with its final rays of light. He invites the reader to join him in singing the praises of this moment, to celebrate the beauty of the natural world and the power of the human voice.

But "Song At Sunset" is not just a celebration of nature - it is also a celebration of the human spirit. Whitman sees the beauty of the natural world as a reflection of the beauty within ourselves:

This is the hour O soul, thy free flight into the wordless, Away from books, away from art, the day erased, the lesson done, Thee fully forth emerging, silent, gazing, pondering the themes thou lovest best, Night, sleep, death and the stars.

Here, Whitman is encouraging us to let go of the trappings of civilization and embrace our true selves. He sees the human soul as capable of soaring to great heights, free from the constraints of society and culture. By contemplating the themes of night, sleep, death, and the stars, he invites us to explore the mysteries of life and the universe.

Throughout "Song At Sunset", Whitman's language is both lyrical and powerful. He uses repetition, alliteration, and other poetic devices to create a sense of rhythm and momentum. His lines are often long and meandering, but they never lose their sense of purpose or direction. Instead, they build upon each other, creating a complex and multifaceted portrait of the world and our place in it.

One of the most striking aspects of "Song At Sunset" is the way in which Whitman celebrates the physical body. He sees the human form as an essential part of the natural world, and he views bodily sensations - hunger, thirst, fatigue - as opportunities to connect with the world around us:

Hunger, thirst, the cannibal, the anaemic asking for my life, or yours, The many-sufficed, the ancient rule of hospitality, ... These are really not the parts and poems of the body only, but of the soul, O I say now these are the soul!

Here, Whitman is challenging us to see beyond the surface of things and to embrace our physical and emotional experiences as opportunities for growth and connection. He sees the human body not as something to be ashamed of or hidden away, but as something to be celebrated and honored.

In conclusion, "Song At Sunset" is a powerful and lyrical tribute to the beauty of the natural world and the human spirit. Through his use of vivid imagery, poetic language, and intricate rhythms, Whitman invites us to explore the mysteries of the universe and the depths of our own souls. His celebration of the physical body and the natural world challenges us to see beyond the trappings of modern society and to embrace the simple pleasures of life. For these reasons and more, "Song At Sunset" remains a classic of American poetry and a testament to the enduring power of the human spirit.

Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation

Poetry Song At Sunset: A Masterpiece by Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman, the father of free verse, is one of the most celebrated poets in American literature. His works are known for their unconventional style and themes that celebrate the beauty of nature, individualism, and democracy. One of his most famous poems, Poetry Song At Sunset, is a masterpiece that captures the essence of his poetic vision.

The poem is a celebration of the power of poetry and its ability to connect us with the natural world. It is a reflection on the beauty of the sunset and the transformative power of poetry. The poem is divided into three stanzas, each of which explores a different aspect of the sunset and its relationship with poetry.

The first stanza sets the scene for the poem. Whitman describes the sunset as a "mystical, wonderful" event that fills the sky with "purple and gold." He marvels at the beauty of the scene and the way it transforms the world around him. He then turns his attention to poetry, describing it as a "song" that is "born of the earth and sky." He suggests that poetry is a natural expression of the world around us, and that it has the power to connect us with the beauty of nature.

The second stanza explores the relationship between poetry and the sunset in more detail. Whitman suggests that poetry is a way of capturing the essence of the sunset and preserving it for future generations. He describes poetry as a "mirror" that reflects the beauty of the world around us. He suggests that poetry is a way of capturing the fleeting moments of beauty that we experience in life and preserving them for eternity.

The third stanza is a call to action. Whitman urges his readers to embrace the power of poetry and to use it to connect with the natural world. He suggests that poetry is a way of transcending the limitations of our everyday lives and connecting with something greater than ourselves. He encourages his readers to "sing" their own songs and to use poetry as a way of expressing their own unique perspectives on the world.

Overall, Poetry Song At Sunset is a powerful and evocative poem that captures the essence of Whitman's poetic vision. It celebrates the beauty of the natural world and the transformative power of poetry. It is a call to action, urging us to embrace the power of poetry and to use it to connect with the world around us. It is a timeless masterpiece that continues to inspire and captivate readers to this day.

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