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On the Beach at Night

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Camarie Campfield

on 3 June 2011

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Transcript of On the Beach at Night

On the Beach at Night Walt Whitman Camarie Campfield On the Beach at Night On the beach at night,
Stands a child with her father,
Watching the east, the autumn sky.

Up through the darkness,
While ravening clouds, the burial clouds, in black masses spreading,
Lower sullen and fast athwart and down the sky,
Amid a transparent clear belt of ether yet left in the east,
Ascends large and calm the lord-star Jupiter,
And nigh at hand, only a very little above,
Swim the delicate sisters the Pleiades.

From the beach the child holding the hand of her father,
Those burial-clouds that lower victorious soon to devour all,
Watching, silently weeps.

Weep not, child,
Weep not, my darling,
With these kisses let me remove your tears,
The ravening clouds shall not long be victorious,
They shall not long possess the sky, they devour the stars only in appariton,
Jupiter shall emerge, be patient, watch again another night, the Pleiades shall emerge,
They are immortal, all those stars both silvery and golden shall shine out again,
The great stars and the little ones shall shine out again, they endure,
The vast immortal suns and long-enduring pensive moons shall again shine.

Then dearest child mournest thou only for Jupiter?
Considerest thou alone the burial of the stars?

Something there is,
(With my lips soothing thee, adding I whisper,
I give thee the first suggestion, the problem and indirection,)
Something there is more immortal even than the stars,
(Many the burials, many the days and nights, passing away,)
Something that shall endure longer even than lustrous Jupiter
Longer than sun or any revolving satellite,
Or the radiant sisters the Pleiades. Walt Whitman Pleiades Jupiter The Meaning This poem is packed with symbolism.. Her father- Jesus (guiding & comforting)
Child- Innocence
The east- Where the sun rises, new beginning
Autumn- Wisdom
The burial clouds- Evil
Stars- Good
Ocean- endless, forever
Contrast between the father and child- age and the passage of life Bibliography http://www.naic.edu/~gibson/pleiades/pleiades_myth.html
http://www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/126
http://classiclit.about.com/cs/articles/a/aa_songofmyself.htm
http://www.enotes.com/nineteenth-century-criticism/whitman-walt This poem is about God, and Jupiter symbolizes Him.
Seven is significant because it alludes to the Bible.
Immortilization is mentioned throughout the poem. All seven sisters committed suicide because they were so saddened by the fate of their father, Atlas. In turn Zeus, the ruler of the Greek gods, immortalized the sisters by placing them in the sky Poetic Devices Symbolism
Allusions The equivalent of Zeus, he was the god of the skies. Grew up in Brooklyn and Long Island with nine siblings
Finished his formal education by the time he was 10
Began to learn the printer's trade at the age of 12, and did this until 17 when a fire destroyed the industry
Became a school teacher for five years, despite minimal education
Began his journalism career at 22
Founded Long-Islander, wrote for Daily Eagle, edited New Orleans Crescent
During the Civil War, he worked in the hospitals in Washington D.C. and stayed there for seven years
Settled in Camden, New Jersey, after his mother died Tone The poem is written in free verse. Influences Since he is largely self-taught, he learned much by reading. Events also heavily influenced him. Homer
Dante
Shakespeare
Bible His experience with slave markets in New Orleans
The Civil War made him vow to live a "purged" and "cleansed life" Quaker background, which can be seen in many of his poems, although he draws from many religions.
His most famous work is Leaves of Grass, which contains many poems and went through eight editions. His brother was wounded, and Whitman was overcome by the suffering of others. Critique Secretary of the Interior, James Harlan, fired Whitman as his clerk once he learned that he was the author of Leaves of Grass, which he found highly offensive. Definitions Ether- the clear sky
Apparition- appearance
Pensive- wistfully thoughtful Shifts in each stanza On the beach at night,
Stands a child with her father,
Watching the east, the autumn sky.

Up through the darkness,
While ravening clouds, the burial clouds, in black masses spreading,
Lower sullen and fast athwart and down the sky,
Amid a transparent clear belt of ether yet left in the east,
Ascends large and calm the lord-star Jupiter,
And nigh at hand, only a very little above,
Swim the delicate sisters the Pleiades.

From the beach the child holding the hand of her father,
Those burial-clouds that lower victorious soon to devour all,
Watching, silently weeps.

Weep not, child,
Weep not, my darling,
With these kisses let me remove your tears,
The ravening clouds shall not long be victorious,
They shall not long possess the sky, they devour the stars only in appariton,
Jupiter shall emerge, be patient, watch again another night, the Pleiades shall emerge,
They are immortal, all those stars both silvery and golden shall shine out again,
The great stars and the little ones shall shine out again, they endure,
The vast immortal suns and long-enduring pensive moons shall again shine.

Then dearest child mournest thou only for Jupiter?
Considerest thou alone the burial of the stars?

Something there is,
(With my lips soothing thee, adding I whisper,
I give thee the first suggestion, the problem and indirection,)
Something there is more immortal even than the stars,
(Many the burials, many the days and nights, passing away,)
Something that shall endure longer even than lustrous Jupiter
Longer than sun or any revolving satellite,
Or the radiant sisters the Pleiades. Peaceful, thoughtful Suspenseful, gloomy Depressing Encouraging Optimistic Hopeful Theme Commonly and critically regarded as one of America's premier poets
Leaves of Grass was revolutionary in style and content, and was targeted at the "Americans who had been ignored by literature"
The focus of his poetry on sanctity and divinity of the self has been criticized as being more egotistical than spiritual
His exploration and exaltation of sexuality and homosexuality has been both deplored and downplayed Even though the world is dark now, God will shine again and everything will be better. Other interpretations have lead to the theme being that love is immortal.
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