From Noon to Starry Night: Questions and Answers

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Study Questions
1. In Thou Orb Aloft Full Dazzling, how does the sun communicate with Whitman?

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2. In Section Four of The Mystic Trumpeter, what affect does the trumpeter have on Whitman?

3. Describe the personification of the locomotive in To a Locomotive in Winter.

4. In Mannahatta, how does the poet feel about the island of Manhattan?

5. Explain how Whitman will deal with his enemies in Ah Poverties, Wincings, and Sulky Retreats.

6. Identify the subject of the poem Mediums.

7. In Old War Dreams, what does Whitman dream about?

8. Name the subject of the poem Thick Sprinkled Bunting.

9. According to As I Walk These Broad Majestic Days, what kind of person has the best perspective on world events and issues?

10. In A Clear Midnight, what does the hour of midnight offer the soul?

Answers
1. The sun communicates with Whitman by sending rays of light, “shafts of flames gigantic,” for him to interpret.

2. The trumpeter plays, and Whitman imagines that he sees scenes from the past—from medieval times.

3. The locomotive laughs and shrieks like a human.

4. The poet is in love with every aspect of Manhattan, from the people who live there to the ships in the water and the water itself.

5. Although Whitman is deeply affected by his foes, he will persevere; he believes that he will triumph over his enemies.

6. Whitman writes about Americans.

7. Whitman dreams about dead soldiers, digging trenches, and walking through battlegrounds littered with the dead.

8. Whitman addresses the American flag.

9. A poet offers the best perspective on world events and issues because “the visions of poets” are “the most solid pronouncements of any.”

10. The hour of midnight offers the soul “free flight into the wordless,” an escape from the thoughts that preoccupy the mind during the day.

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