Introduction: Miracles can be described as divine interference with something unbelievably surprising. In this lesson, we will summarize and analyze the poem ” Miracles” by Walt Whitman and delve into the depths of its significance.
Central Idea: People generally wait for miracles to happen because they consider them unexpected and supernatural events. But the poet of the poem, Whitman presents altogether a different thought about miracles. He believes that miracles do happen all the time around us. He expresses his great surprise as to why people feel excited about miracles and admire them. He draws his miracles from day to day life. He is of the opinion that the people and the city are full of miracles. According to his point of view, nature itself is an emblem of miracles – the creation and the activities of honeybees, animals, fish, rocks, the sun and the moon are all miracles.
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What are miracles?
Do you believe in miracles? What, if so, what do you think is a miracle? Some might say that a patient walking again after paralysis, a struggling family winning the lottery, or a favourite sports team coming back to win the championship after a major point deficit are miracles. Even the term appears to be defined in several ways. Some definitions refer to holy connotations, while others describe the improbable outcome.
In this article, we will explore the meaning of Walt Whitman ‘s ” Miracles, ” which will give you another example of what witnessing a miracle means. This poem can change your views and definitions.
Miracles ” begins with the question ” Why, who makes much of a miracle? ” It sets the tone for the rest of the poem. The poet then describes several events and things he believes to be miracles because he ” knows nothing but miracles. ” For example, the poet describes the pleasure of walking, both in Manhattan and on a sandy beach. He talks about being in the woods under trees and how much he not only enjoys talking and/or sleeping with the people he loves but eat, dinner or watch people out on the streets.
Then the poet talks again about nature, including animal feeding sights, bees bubbling sound around a hive and birds and insects roaming the air. He describes the beauty of the setting of the sun, the stars and the moon.
When the poet finishes his descriptions, he says that each of these things is a miracle to him in its own way, as it seems that day, night, space and time work in harmony. He ends with the question, ” What are strange miracles? ”
He ends with the question, ” What stranger miracles are there? ”
Summary Of Miracles by Walt Whitman
Summary: The poem, ’Miracles’ has been written by ’Walt Whitman’. He uses the free verse in his poems, as such is referred to as ‘the father of free verse’.
In this poem, the poet wants to convey a message and says that miracles are not unexpected and extraordinary events that we should feel excited about. In fact, they do happen every minute, every hour and every day around us, across the world and in the entire universe. He says that the routine life of people is itself filled with innumerable miracles.
In fact, miracles can be seen in our day to day life. For him, walking down the streets of Manhattan (a popular American city) is a miracle. He ponders over nature and says that the vast expanse of the sky, the soothing effect of the waves, watching stars in the moonlit sky, standing under the shade of the trees, watching the activities of honey bees during summer days, animals feeding themselves in the fields, feeling the sun on our faces and observing the fine, thin curve of the new moon in Spring are all miracles to him. The poet further says that having a conversation with our beloved ones, eating dinner with our family members and looking at the strangers sitting opposite to us in the car are all miracles.
The poet finally winds up his count of miracles by saying that there are limitless miracles but all of them have specific importance at their respective places. From his point of view every hour of the day and night, every cubic inch of the world and space, every square yard of the earth, and every foot of the interior of the earth is dominated and crowded with miracles. The endless seas, the enormous fishes, the beautiful rocks, the movement of the waves and the sailing of the ships with men in it, are all marvellous and miraculous from the poet’s point of view.
Miracles Line by Line Analysis
While many individuals may have professed to have seen a certain miracle and others may not trust it, Whitman asserts that he has never known anything but miracles.
Whitman uncovered that he discovered miracles in the Manhattan lanes and the tops of houses. He thinks it is amazing what people have the intelligence to gather. He discovers he sees the sky and the coast as miracles. He is also confident that his ability to appreciate them is a miracle in itself. He also ensures that his ability to love others is a miracle. He believes that what humankind has made, nature and human feeling are altogether wonders.
He continues to portray the wonder of mankind. He explains that he has ” dinner with his mother ” and watches ” outsiders ” and ” bumblebees, ” ” creatures, ” and ” fowls. ” Now it becomes clear that in each segment of this poem Whitman refers to three specific parts of nature: people, creatures and nature. When he specifies his mother, he implies again the miracles of human sentiment and his ability to adore another.
When he speaks of creepy crawls, especially bumblebees, he suggests what is the clear support of life that he finds is miraculous. Everything that is alive and breathing is a miracle for him, and the excellence and beauty of the stars that sparkle in the sky is also another wonderful enigma.
In the following stanza, he refers to nature and mankind. This stanza is intriguing because it parallels his valuation for the sky with his energy for other people he has spent time around. It is a miracle that people can have such enhanced donations from mechanics to boatmen to farmers. He refers to the human feeling within this perception, which he calls ” those I like best and that like me best. ” He refers to the human capacity to like each other as a marvel.
Here he respects what the personality of man has done and finds the consequences of the personality of man to be phenomenal. This is why he respects the “development of tools. ” He also sees human growth as a miracle. He watches young people, and the way they develop and the way their psyches work to play sport and recreation is phenomenal to him. Moreover, he sees the old age as supernatural. The manner in which the body ages and the spirit becomes more astute is one more miracle to the poet.
He continues to talk about humanity in this stanza, and here he incidentally talks about the ailment. While many would see the recovery of ailment as a miracle, he sees the ailment itself as a wonder or perhaps sees the ” typical ” human status of strong as a wonder, so when disease assumes control, he sees all human experience as unexplained. This segment reveals that he believes that life itself is a miracle with everything that happens there. Life is a miracle, sickness is a wonder, and even passing is a marvel. He trusts that every event has a place and time and that is a miracle excessively. When he looks at his own eyes and figure in the glass, he searches for his life. He is wondering where he came from, his maker, and the gift of life he has been given, and most of this he thinks of a wonder.
He communicates his conviction that every last bit of creation talks about a maker and is a miracle along these lines. He refers in particular to the fact that ” light and darkness is a miracle, ” which is perhaps a consequence of his religious foundation as a Quaker, in which he was surely trained that God spoke, ” Let there be light ” (Trapp).
Again he specifies man and nature in one breath. Both he sees as miracles. He closes his lyrics like it began, what stranger are miracle there?
Background of Walt Whitman Walt
Whitman grew up as a Quaker, although in his early years he did not read every part of that religion. Otherwise, he tried to discover something else for himself. He regarded everything as a supernatural event and frequently referred to the possibility of a maker, yet the general subject of quite a bit of his verse uncovers his respect for humankind and nature.
This poem uncovers his wonderment of nature and mankind. He is awed by trees, the sky, the sea, creatures, and the greater part of all, humankind. He is in the wonder of what the human personality has planned, and he is in amazement of human life itself. He believes humankind to be of most extreme significance, and a large number of his different works uncover this also. His verse shows quite a bit of respect for humanity and nature.
This poem reveals his marvellous nature and humanity. He is terrified by trees, the sky, the sea, creatures and most of all, mankind. He is wondering what the personality of man has planned and is amazed at human life itself. He believes that mankind is of the utmost importance, and a large number of his different works also reveal this.
Questions and Answers Of ‘Miracles’
Q. No.1 What does Walt Whitman think about miracles?
Ans. Walt Whitman believes that miracles do not occur rarely, but are repetitive and recurring in nature. At every step of his routine life, he confronts miracles.
Ans. The usual view of a miracle is that it seldom happens. It is considered to be an unexpected or supernatural event. But according to Walt Whitman, miracles happen in everyday life. According to him, the people of the city, various natural creatures and the other phenomenon are all miracles to him. All these things pass unnoticed by the busy people of the world but, he ponders over them and concludes that every major and miniature thing of nature is a miracle.
Q No. 2. When you read the poem, you notice that some ’miracles’ are from nature; others are connected with people and city life. Make lists of these. Notice how Whitman moves from one to another.
Ans. The poet mentions miracles from the world of Nature, city life and the people around him. He sees miracles among his own people. He sees it as a miracle when he talks with a person whom he loves most. When he dines with the people and rides a car opposite strangers, these are miracles to him.
In the city, the poet sees people on the
streets of Manhattan or when he himself walks on the streets, all this are miracles to him and when he looks over the roofs of houses towards the sky, there as well, he sees miracles.
As of nature, the poet finds a lot of miracles: Trees in the woods, honeybees moving around the hive, animals feeding in the fields, sunset. the thin curve of spring moon and bright stars are natural miracles to the poet.
He moves from one miracle to another with an expression of joy and wonder. Though he equally finds joy in each one of them yet he finds each one distinct from others and having its own identity.
Question No.3 What are man-made miracles enlisted in the poem?
Ans. The manmade miracles in the poem include the streets of Manhattan, skyscrapers of New York, beeches, love gossips, sitting around the dining table, subway car riding, etc.
Question No.3. What are the natural miracles mentioned in the poem?
Ans. The natural miracles mentioned in the poem include the buzz of honey bees, the sunset scenery, the shine of the stars, the delicate curve of the new moon, every hour of light and darkness, the inner swarms of the earth, fish, silent rocks and boats sailing in the seas.
Question No.4. What do the lines about Manhattan and subway cars tell about Whitman’s feeling for people?
Ans. Whitman is excited to see the overcrowded streets of Manhattan. He is just as excited to see people ride the subway cars looking at each other and smiling. Whitman, therefore, feels that people usually bypass the muse of the real miracles and talk about supernatural miracles instead.
Ans. The lines about Manhattan and subway cars tell us that Whitman has a great love for humans (Philanthropist). When he ponders over the huge constructions and the busy streets of Manhattan, he gets thrilled and considers it a miracle. The subway cars which run underground carrying people also fascinate Whitman and his love for humanity increases many folds.
Q.No.5 What is imagery?
Answer: We speak of pictures created in a poem which bestow its clarity and beauty as imagery. Through imagery, a poet’s meaning is made strong, clear and sure. Images are like paintings made up of words. Although most of the image-making words in any language appeal to sight, there are also images of touch, sound, taste and smell. This poem appeals to our sense of sight, hearing and touch.
Q. No.6 What are the images used in the poem?
Ans. The poem ‘Miracles’ is full of visual images. The poet has used rich images in the poem. Some of them are as under:
* skyline of tall buildings,
* wading with naked feet along the beach.
* standing under shades of trees in the woods.
* Sit at the table with the rest.
* looking at strangers riding subway cars
* watching honey bees buzz, and animals grazing in the fields.
* Thin curve of new moon in spring.
Question No.7 Do you find any rhyme scheme in the poem?
And. There is no rhyme scheme in the poem. It has been written in free verse typically in Whiteman’s own style, well-knit and explanatory in his own way.