Crossing Brooklyn Ferry

In Walt Whitman’s “Crossing the Brooklyn Bridge”, the speaker turns a normal, common ferry ride into a philosophical experience.  As the narrator sits on the boat, he examines “the crowds of men attired in the usual costumes (1:4)”.  Instead of merely glancing at the other passengers (like I do on the ferry), he wonders about them. His fellow commuters are “more curious to [him] than you suppose (1:7)”, and they “in [his] meditations (1:10)”.  The speaker seems to connect himself with all the other passengers and with all the other people in the world; “everyone [is disintegrated yet part of the scheme (2:4)”.  Everyone goes through the same experiences, like ferry rides.  Everyone “knows what it is to be evil (6:6)”, and everyone feels the same emotions.  The narrator is on a journey; he is neither in Manhattan nor Brooklyn.  He is in between destinations and between the past and future.  The place and time doesn’t matter.  We are all individually somewhat connected and are accompanying each other on this ferry ride we call life.