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Offlinetheocean06
Yeah, I've donefour already...

Registered: 07/10/04
Posts: 1,458
Last seen: 5 years, 5 months
Need help interpreting poem
    #3333445 - 11/08/04 03:19 PM (12 years, 2 months ago)

Hello, A friend of mine asked me to help him interpret part of a poem/song by Walt Whitman, and I'm having some trouble with it (and so his he). Maybe some of you guys and gals could help me (and my friend) out here. Well, this is poem:

To Be at All

To be at all - what is better than that?
I think if there were nothing more developed, the clam in its
callous shell in the sand were august enough.
I am not in any callous shell;
I am cased with supple conductors, all over,
They take every object by the hand, and lead it within me;
They are thousands, each one with his entry to himself;
They are always watching with their little eyes, from my
head to my feet;
One no more than a point lets in and out of me such bliss
and magnitude,
I think I could lift the girder of the house away if it lay
between me and whatever I wanted.

- Walt Whitman



Any ideas of what this means? If you could, break it down line by line (if not that's fine). Thank you.


--------------------


The story of life is quicker then the blink of an eye, the story of love is hello, goodbye.            - Hendrix :bow:


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Offlinetheocean06
Yeah, I've donefour already...

Registered: 07/10/04
Posts: 1,458
Last seen: 5 years, 5 months
Re: Need help interpreting poem [Re: theocean06]
    #3333681 - 11/08/04 05:13 PM (12 years, 2 months ago)

15 views and no one has any idea what this means?

come on...please :pirate:


--------------------


The story of life is quicker then the blink of an eye, the story of love is hello, goodbye.            - Hendrix :bow:


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OfflinePathos
A million pieces
 User Gallery

Registered: 09/29/04
Posts: 1,045
Loc: Under the stairs
Last seen: 7 years, 5 months
Re: Need help interpreting poem [Re: theocean06]
    #3333709 - 11/08/04 05:20 PM (12 years, 2 months ago)

Very simply, my understanding is...

To be at all - what is better than that? - Existing is in itself a great thing.

I think if there were nothing more developed, the clam in its
callous shell in the sand were august enough. - Even existing as a simple creature is good

I am not in any callous shell; - Im not in a shell?

I am cased with supple conductors, all over, - I have skin and nerves

They take every object by the hand, and lead it within me; - they sense everything around me and allow me to sense it

They are always watching with their little eyes, from my
head to my feet; - they are always sensing things all around me all the time


The rest should make sense


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Invisiblen_tara
Stranger

Registered: 11/07/03
Posts: 28
Loc: Canada
Re: Need help interpreting poem [Re: theocean06]
    #3333720 - 11/08/04 05:30 PM (12 years, 2 months ago)

I don't really know. There are a million ways to interpret poetry. But I'll give you my opinion anyway.


"To be at all - what is better than that?
I think if there were nothing more developed, the clam in its
callous shell in the sand were august enough."

This is saying that existance is the best thing in the world and that if all that was possible was to be a clam and be unable to sense so much of the world, that would be ok and it would be good enough because at least you'd be able to exist.

"I am not in any callous shell;
I am cased with supple conductors, all over,
They take every object by the hand, and lead it within me;
They are thousands, each one with his entry to himself;
They are always watching with their little eyes, from my
head to my feet;
One no more than a point lets in and out of me such bliss
and magnitude,"

But I can sense these things. Then it talks about nerve endings and uses very poetic language to describe the fact that they let you feel.

"I think I could lift the girder of the house away if it lay
between me and whatever I wanted."

I could do anything to get what I want. -- Don't know how that fits but it's a nice closing line.

and that is my interpretation. It's not very detailed and mostly just follows the obvious, but it's something at least.


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