Wednesday, May 1, 2013

humans as part of nature

One of the things that I really enjoy about reading Whitman is his use of nature as part of our human world. So often today humans don't count themselves as part of nature, or something that comes from nature. Using the term natural ensures this stance even more, since we make a distinction between man made and natural elements. In Whitmans view of nature you can see that he loves nature, but also that he becomes a part of nature. He sees himself in the wind, in the trees, in everything around him.

In Whitman's poem, "I saw a in Louisiana a Live-Oak Growing" you can see Whitman's connection to nature. he talks about how one day he sees this Live Oak tree growing outside, and he becomes enthralled with it. He seems sad that he sees it standing alone with no companions since he sees nature as having just as much emotion as we do as people. He describes the joy that he sees in the tree, and how he could not understand that as it had no friends at the moment. The tree also reminded him greatly of himself, he is also alone with no companions in this moment in time.

It is a very sentimental moment for Whitman, he breaks off a twig from the tree, that reminds him so much of himself, and some moss and takes it back to his room so he can see it. I believe that this moment shows Whitman's connection to nature. The branch reminds him so much of he wants to represent, being joyous, his solitude, love among me, "yet it remains to me a curious token, it makes me think of manly love;"

The tree seems to also have attained something that Whitman himself is not able to acquire, "Uttering joyous leaves all its life without a friend a lover near, I know very well I could not". I am not sure if in this moment Whitman is saying that he cannot be as happy and carefree as this tree that is alone without anyone, or that he is not sure if he could be happy. It seems to be a very nostalgic moment, and he admires the tree.

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