Whitman was born May 31, 1819, near Huntington in New York in the heart of Long Island and was the second child of a family who had nine. When he was four, his parents moved to Brooklyn, where he became apprenticed to a typesetter. He left, then to New York to practice his profession, but returned to Long Island in 1835 to teach in country schools.
Overview of the poem
Unlike William Wordsworth, Whitman does not romanticize his poems. His focus in the poems is individually on a person. Thus, we can say that he speaks the language of ordinary men. His goal of the poem was to keep the Person, a human being fully and freely on record. The poetic structures of Whitman reflect the democratic ideals of the poet. The poet has used perceptions for this poem which includes the use of metaphors and anecdotes. Whitman through his poem by using anecdotes provides the reader with a sympathetic experience of using anecdotes. The language used by Whitman uses sometimes contradicts with the language philosophy. This specifies Whitman's status as a unique person. No matter how hard we try, it is not necessary that we understand the individual as a unique individual. Whitman avoids schemes which relate with traditional poetry.
Analysis of the poem
In this poem, Whitman explores the scientific world which was supplanting a traditional means of understanding of the poet. The poet has characterized the scientific approach of nature as dry and dull. The narrator of the poem describes his day of astronomy lecture listening to the astronomers boring lecture. He became tired and sick of the lecture and starts thinking about the night air and gaze up at the stars.