In today’s seminar, we took a look at Walt Whitman’s poem Crossing Brooklyn Ferry. I had already read the poem before the class on Wednesday, so I knew what really stood out to me and I had my opinions set in my mind. However, I always like reviewing these kinds of things in class the next day so that we get different insights on them and are able to view them from a different point of view. When we reviewed this poem in class, we spoke about the symbols used in the poem, as well as the way the poem itself was written and the effect it had on its meaning.
I never realized how much of an effect the rhythm of a poem could have on the poem itself. We spoke about how the repetition and rhythm of the poem echoed the boat rocking back and forth, as well as the people getting on and off the boat. This definitely complemented the overall theme of the poem, and gave a great new perspective on the poem that allowed me to picture the vivid imagery of the poem. A great poem will have rhythm to reflect its meaning, just like an emotionally powerful song can have a slow tempo with long-held dramatic notes to make the song come together.
Walt Whitman really ennobled the experience of riding the ferry, perhaps reminding us to enjoy the little things in life. He spoke so elegantly and created great imagery through his diction and rhythm, which I would never realize on my own.