Crossing Brooklyn Ferry: My take on Whitman’s poem.

Melissa Allen
Professor Konkol
English 346
September 11, 2016

Walt Whitman’s use of imagery, diction and analogies cause me, as a reader to become instantly captivated in his work. Whitman has a distinct writing that unites all of us together. While reading Crossing Brooklyn Ferry, I was especially enthralled by the final stanza in the poem,

Flow on, river! flow with the flood-tide, and ebb with the ebb-tide!
Frolic on, crested and scallop-edg’d waves!
Gorgeous clouds of the sunset! drench with your splendor me, or the men and women generations after me!
Cross from shore to shore, countless crowds of passengers!
Stand up, tall masts of Mannahatta! stand up, beautiful hills of Brooklyn!
Throb, baffled and curious brain! throw out questions and answers!
Suspend here and everywhere, eternal float of solution!

It seems as though this stanza is a sort of summery of Whitman’s entire thought process during his ferry ride back to Brooklyn. While he feels a sort of emotional disconnect from the rest of the passengers he is hopeful that one day they too will be able to see the wondrous things that he sees. He is in absolute awe of his surroundings and is taking in all the beauty, while the rest of the passengers are just eager for their arrival back to Brooklyn.


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