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I Sit and Look Out

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Alyssa Olafson

on 15 May 2012

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Transcript of I Sit and Look Out

I Sit and Look Out by: Walt Whitman Line 1 : Walt is reflecting on all the horrible things that are happening in the world.

Line 2 : He's hearing young men that are ashamed of their actions and hate themselves for it.

Line 3 & 4: He sees women being abused whether it is by her children or her husband or by creepy men misusing them.

Line 5 : He notices people comparing themselves to what others are and not loving their neighbors like they love themselves, but trying to hide it all.

Line 6 : He sees the trauma of war and tyranny and innocent people being imprisoned.

Line 7 : He sees widespread diseases and people giving their lives so others will be saved.

Line 8 : He sees arrogant people degrading the people that are “lower” than them.

Line 9 & 10 : From all of the corruption and shamelessness and on going anguish he sits and sees all of this and doesn't do anything about it. Line by Line Analysis Literary Devices Questions
1. One of the social injustices described in this poem is domestic violence.
2. We think the speaker's response to the sorrows of the world, is that he feels helpless and doesn't really have any hope that the world will/can change.
3. If Whitman were to write this poem today, we think that he would not have chosen any different sorrows because they are all so relevant in the world today. Walt Whitman Mini-Biography:
-He grew up in rural Long Island and then moved to Brooklyn.
-He had numerous random jobs during his life such as an office boy, a school teacher, a carpenter, and a nurse during the Civil War.
-He is known for having a vary wide variety of writing topics from the beautiful to the ugly, and the unique to the commonplace.
-The work he prized most was a book of poems called Leaves of Grass, which he started to work on in 1848 and was finally able to get 9th and last edition published in 1891. This book contained nearly 400 poems.
-Most critics of the time considered the poems "barbaric" and "noxious." They deemed the poems' subject matter as radical and were suspicious of it's vivid sexual imagery.
-Leaves of Grass is often referred to as the greatest, most influential poetry book in all American literature. 1. Catalog- the sorrows of the world
2. Repetition- I see, I observe QUIZ!!

True or False : In this poem, Whitman wants to do something to change the world.

True or False : Critics were not too fond of his poems at first.


What is one sorrow of the world that Walt Whitman listed in this poem?



Are these sorrows still relevant in the world today? If not, explain why. Activity
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