Please provide me with a summary of the poem:- "I Sit and Look Out" by Walt Whitman.  

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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Whitman's poem "I Sit and Look Out" is a reflection poem. In this poem, Whitman reflects on the things that he sees from his place of almost omniscient power.

Whitman sits and listens to the sounds of anguish of men, the wife and mother mistreated by both her husband and children. He looks out upon the effects of war, and the famine sailors must face when toiling for the fish all so desperately need. Whitman also reflects upon those who deem themselves above all others.

In the end, Whitman admits that even with the pain and agony he sees in the world, he sits silent.

Poetry is meant as a poet's personal reflection on life: their life and the lives of others. This being said, Whitman actually sets up a dichotomy: while he is physically sitting silent, his poem speaks for him. This is the purpose of a poem. To speak for the author in a way they may not be able to verbally. Poems touch on very painful, private, and controversial topics.

The purpose of the poem "I Sit and Look Out" is one in which Whitman can speak about what he sees, stay silent, and allow his pen to speak for him- in the same way the tears of the man speak to his anguish. In reality, Whitman is not silent; his pen is simply speaking for him.

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jayanthy | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Honors

Posted on

walt Whitman's attitude towards suffering is one of a silent,helpless specator. he is philosophical in his outlookd and ponders over the degraded condition of society.

he observes the evils of the world as he looks out. he sees the wife 'misused'' mother misused' and young girls seduced by treacherous men. he is aware of the evils of war, the death, the pain, the aftermath of war but chooses only to bring it to the notice of his readers. he neither judges the wrongs of the society and of the world,,nor does he seek to redeem the worldwith help from others. he does nothing directly to reduce the pain. he uses sad words to convey his feelings, his individualism is obvious in his observations- the opinions suggested in his poem are his own observations. but the attitude behind these are one of a silent spectatr, helpless and alone.

he feels he can do nothing to reduce the sufferings, which have become a part of the system of the world/ he knows that he cannot do anything to control the 'degradation cast by arrogant masters' upon labourers, the poor and the Negroes- in short he cannot do anything to remove social and racial discrimination.

he feels he can only sit back and watch the world getting corrupt. hwe feels the pain and conveyus the injustices of the world to his readers. yet one cannot say that the poet has not done anything he has done his duty and allowed men to see all that he sees. he makes no judgements but lets the world watch and observe and draw their own conclusions.

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