What is a poem and what is a song? A poem is a piece of writing that expresses ideas, emotions, vivid imagery, and experiences in a verbal manner. Poems usually have different literary techniques such as metaphors and different rhyme schemes. A song is ‘short’ version of a poem which is meant to be sung. It has a melody. A song and poem have themes and can be represented by text.
The major theme in the poem ‘When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer’, by Walt Whitman, is experience. The point the author is trying to get across is that it is much better to learn out of experience rather than having lectures. This poem implies that learning and having experience is more insightful than learning through graphs, lectures and charts. In the line “When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them…” the speaker is saying that we think that we’re learning from all the equations and formulas, but in fact we’re just frolicking with the objects in nature inside a confined world. In this poem the author expresses his belief that we can only gain knowledge about nature through experience.
The sub-themes of this poem are dissatisfaction, isolation, Wisdom, Man and its natural world.
The speaker is beyond being bored, he’s feeling nauseous and drained. “How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick…” that shows how the speaker was not satisfied at all in the lecture hall.
He also feels isolated inside the lecture hall. He has no interests on learning about society and what they think is knowledge, he is only interested in learning about the stars directly. When he is outside he feels free and go wherever that he likes. However, when he leaves the hall, he feels a huge relief and doesn’t feel isolated anymore. “Till rising and gliding out I wander'd off by myself…”
Wisdom and knowledge have different meanings. Wisdom is obtained by experience, whereas knowledge is gained by culture, etc. “When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them”. The speaker would prefer to have wisdom rather than having knowledge. “In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time, Look'd up in perfect silence at the stars.”
The main theme in the song ‘Ah, Sunflower’ by William Blake is learning through experience. The sunflower always looks up the sun and its desire to escape partially from the sun because the sun signifies time. The sunflower wants a break from the material world that it lives in. “Ah,...