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"WHEN I HEARD THE LEARN'D ASTRONOMER"

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Sydney Laub

on 7 October 2013

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Transcript of "WHEN I HEARD THE LEARN'D ASTRONOMER"

"WHEN I HEARD THE LEARN'D ASTRONOMER"
Abigail Chapman and Sydney Laub

When I heard the learn’d astronomer,
When the proofs, the figures, were arranged in columns before me,
When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them,
When I, sitting, heard the astronomer, where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,

How soon, unaccountable, I became tired and sick;
Till rising and gliding out, I wander’d off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, from time to time,
Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.

Title
"When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer"
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me,
When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them,
When I, sitting, heard the astronomer, where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,
How soon, unaccountable, I became tired and sick;
After the astronomer, breaks apart the stars by making them so literal and meaningless, Whitman feels that the lecture has physically made him sick.
Till rising and gliding out, I wander'd off by myself,
Whitman leaves mid-lecture, going to wander by himself, making the reader wonder: Where is he going?
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look'd up in perfect silence at the stars.
Whitman finds his way into the night, looking up at the stars, he doesn't try to explain them or express their beauty.
Denotative Meaning: He heard the astronomer.
Connotative: The astronomer is talking about something that had an effect on Whitman, but we don’t know what yet.

Vocab:
Learn'd- smart or well-educated
Whitman uses learn'd to almost make fun of the astronomer.
Repetition
The title is repeated to express the importance of its connotative meaning.
Catalogs
Whitman is listing the tools that the astronomer uses to teach the class about stars:
proofs
figures
columns
charts
diagrams
adding
dividing
measuring
Vocabulary:
Proofs- demonstrations of the truth of a statement of equation.
21st Century Uses
AMC's, Breaking Bad, frequently uses Walt Whitmans poetry as a plot element throughout the series.
Characters sometimes quote Whitman in the show and point out similarities between them and Whitman.
Meaning
The astronomer is breaking apart the stars and taking away their meaning. The astronomer is having the class look at the stars in a complex way, when, according to Whitman, it should be simple.
Meaning
The other people in the class are appreciating the astronomers knowledge of the stars.
Repetition
Whitman repeats the word "when" because he wants to stress the importance of what was happening that led to his realization of his emotions toward the stars.
Vocab
Unaccountable: unable to be explained.
Enjambment
Whitman splits up the two lines:
"When I, sitting, heard the astronomer, where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,"
and:
"How soon, unaccountable, I became tired and sick;"
to emphasize how he feels about the astronomers lecture.
Hyperbole
A figure of speech in which something is exaggerated to emphasize it.
"gliding"- Whitman cannot actually glide out of the lecture hall.
Imagery
"perfect silence..."
"mystical moist night-air"
The formation of mental images, figures, or things, or of images collectively.
Epiphany
Whitman comes to the realization that the stars don't need an explanation, and there is beauty in simplicity and new perspectives.
Theme and Recap
The astronomer teaching the class is making people examine the stars in very complex ways, almost breaking them apart and not giving them what they deserve. Whitman comes to the conclusion that you need to look at the stars as a whole, with no explanation.
Whitman is trying to express the beauty in simplicity.
When
I heard the learn’d astronomer,
When
the proofs, the figures, were arranged in columns before me,
When
I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them,
When
I, sitting, heard the astronomer, where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,
When I heard the learn’d astronomer,
When the proofs, the figures, were arranged in columns before me,
When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them,
When I, sitting, heard the astronomer, where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,

How soon, unaccountable, I became tired and sick;
Till rising and gliding out, I wander’d off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, from time to time,
Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.
Full transcript