In "When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer," what is the contrast Whitman is making?
He's contrasting two different kinds of knowledge, one the ostensibly dry, boring, number-filled classroom knowledge from an acclaimed scientist and one a deeply internal poetic knowledge of the beauty and harmony of nature. Students should discuss whether they think this is a valid contrast or if it is facile. Do they relate to the poem?
"Sometimes With One I Love" is a love poem, but it is about an unhappy love. Do you think it romanticizes pain? If so, how?
Whitman's assertion that romances that cause a lot of emotional pain give poets something to write about is borne...
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