Walt Whitman: Poems

A Symbiotic Relationship 12th Grade

Propelling subjects into action, inciting inanimate objects into movement; verbs meet and surpass these functions. Without verbs a sentence would fail to be such, a clause would fall in rank down to a phrase or a simple phrase. There are three, generalized categories of verbs that pertain to “When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer” by Walt Whitman: action verbs, linking verbs, and helping verbs. Action verbs push the subject of the clause or sentence into motion, linking verbs establish a state of being, and helping verbs add onto both action and linking verbs to increase the detail of those verbs. A shift within the poem separates the text and corresponding verbs into halves; the shift falls at the beginning of the fifth ling after four succeeding clauses, where “when” starts each. The first half includes simple action verbs and a few helping verbs in addition to some verbs, the second half only contains linking and actions verbs, no helping verbs. Through the contrasting structure and content between the two halves, the verbs reveal that with science and math humans are able to create a relationship with nature so they can understand certain aspects of the mysteries behind it and not remain ignorant of the known workings of the...

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