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When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer by Walt Whitman


"When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer" is a poem written by Walt Whitman. This poem is about how we don't have to know everything about smoething in order to find it beautiful or even perfect. The Astronomer may have all of his charts and diagrams and be able to give lectures to halls full of people, but anyone can love the stars as much as him by simply looking at them.

This poem is made up of one stanza with eight lines.


When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer

When I heard the learn'd astronomer;
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me;
When I was shown the charts and the diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them;
When I, sitting, heard the astronomer, where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,
How soon, unaccountable, I became tired and sick;
Till rising and gliding out, I wander'd off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look'd up in perfect silence at the stars.

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Literary Movement
19th Century

Beauty, Science, Stars, Nature

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