It has no rhyme scheme or formatted lines of meter. The poem begins with the speaker describing an oak tree that he has come upon. The oak is completely by itself and is covered with drooping moss. The speaker understands that he would not be able to live this way.
The Real "Live Oak, with Moss": Around early Whitman copied the sequence neatly into a notebook under the title "Live Oak, with Moss. The twelve poems themselves were all known in revised versions Whitman had printed shuffled out of sequence in the new forty-five poem "Calamus" section of the Leaves of Grass.
The "Live Oak" sequence, of which Bowers became the earliest known reader, is a first-person narrative. The speaker is a poet who previously had seen himself as the singer of songs for "The States" l. The plot and actual wording of the original sequence is still unfamiliar enough to justify a succinct summary here.
In the first "Live Oak" poem "Not the heat flames up and consumes" the poet, through extravagant comparisons of forces in nature to his own forces, celebrates the intensity of his search for his "life-long lover" l. In the second "I saw in Louisiana a live-oak growing" the poet praises self-sufficiency but concludes with the confession that he knows very well that he could never be like the live-oak, which utters "joyous leaves all its life, without a friend, a lover, near" l.
In the third "When I heard at the close of the day" the poet locates happiness not in fame, carousal, or accomplishments but in the anticipation of the arrival of his friend, his lover, and then in the reality of watching his friend sleeping by his side.
In the fifth "Long I thought that knowledge alone would suffice me" the speaker repudiates his former ambitions as the poet who had struck up "the songs of the New World" l.
The five-line poem VI poses the question: Poem VII "You bards of ages hence! No rupture between the lovers is described, but poem VIII "Hours continuing long, sore and heavy-hearted" records the aftermath of abandonment: Then the poet asks if he is the only one to feel such longings: The ninth poem "I dreamed in a dream of a city where all the men were like brothers"consisting of only four lines, harkens back to poem IV, but here, in a different, self-consoling mood, the poet dreams of "the city of robust friends" where nothing is greater "than manly love" l.
The three-line poem X "0 you whom I often and silently come where you are" is a silent address to a new man whom he visits: In the four-line poem XI "Earth! Though you look so impassive, ample and spheric there" the poet loves a man "For an athlete loves me,—and I him" [l.
Making an analogy between himself and the impassive earth ready to break forth in eruption, the poet warns that he contains something in him that he "dare not tell The last poem "To the young man, many things to absorb, to engraft, to develop" announces that the poet has much to teach the young man who would be his student not necessarily the same person as the new man of poem X or the athlete of poem XIbut he acknowledges that he can teach only those predisposed to hear his message: With that question the sequence ends.
What I tersely summarize here was, as Bowers first recognized, a direct, coherent, powerful literary work.
|Walt Whitman‘s Live Oak, With Moss: Summary & Analysis – SchoolWorkHelper||Hire Writer Since the poem has the word growing In It, I Immediately thought that act of growing may be pertinent to the subject In the poem.|
As Alan Helms suggests, Whitman may have decided that "the sequence revealed too much. Instead he salvaged the "Live Oak" sequence by including versions of all twelve poems among the new forty-five poem "Calamus" cluster in the third edition of Leaves of Grass —but only after taking the sequence apart, shuffling it, and revising each of the twelve poems.
In "Calamus" the first "Live Oak" poem became Number 14, the second became 20, the third became 11, the fourth became 23, the fifth became 8, the sixth became 32, the seventh became 10, the eighth became 9, the ninth became 34, the tenth became 43, the eleventh became 36, and the last became Only the seventh and eighth remained contiguous—but in the reverse order, so that the lines that had led into the eighth poem now led into a poem not in the "Live Oak" sequence at all.
Whitman could tell himself that he had succeeded in getting the twelve "Live Oak" poems into print—however altered by order, by distance from each other, by new juxtapositions with other poems, and by minor revision, most of it probably incidental to the salvage operation.
There matters stood until Bowers discovered the sequence and printed it in in the annual he founded and edited, Studies in Bibliography. A Parallel Text Because his purpose in this book was to allow readers to study previously unpublished Whitman manuscript poems against parallel texts of those poems as first printed in the Leaves of Grass, Bowers printed the "Live Oak" poems facing their "Calamus" versions, not in their original "Live Oak" order.
Inthat is, Bowers reprinted the individual poems in corrected texts, but scattered, not as a sequence. No one seems to have put the sequence into an anthology of poetry or general literature untilwhen I included it in the first volume of the Fourth Edition of the Norton Anthology of American Literature, where I described it as "what would now be termed a gay manifesto" p.
Along with his essay in Robert K.
Even teachers who had ready access to both publications could not easily use the "Live Oak" sequence in the classroom, since this was a decade or so before photocopying machines became fixtures in every library and departmental office.
Teacher-critics could count other blessings, such as the entire Leaves of Grass in print in various paperback editions.
Origin, Growth, Meaning, immensely useful for its parallel texts of the and "Song of Myself. But in the s, as in the s, there was another, compelling reason for not talking and writing about "Live Oak, with Moss": Whatever the concatenation of reasons, "Live Oak, with Moss" was printed by Bowers as a sequence in and out of sequence inonly to be neglected.
Of the few scholars and critics who wrote about "Live Oak, with Moss" between Bowers and the s, the earliest and most notable was Gay Wilson Allen, whom Bowers had consulted before he first published the sequence.
An oddity of the decades of near silence on "Live Oak, with Moss" is that those few critics who did mention it, looking back at it from the familiar achieved reality of the "Calamus" cluster in the third or a later edition of Leaves of Grass, tended to treat the sequence almost as if it had not quite existed.Essay: Walt Whitman’s Live Oak, With Moss Walt Whitman’s Live Oak, With Moss, is an intricate portrayal of love, both physical and mental.
Throughout the poem, Whitman incorporates an array of metaphors symbolic of love and the many characteristics associated with love. “I Saw in Louisiana a Live-Oak Growing” is a short lyric poem made up of thirteen lines of free verse (verse written in no traditional meter).
The speaker of the poem may be . Whitman copies "Live Oak with Moss" into his little notebook in the spring of That summer, he begins assembling the "Calamus" cluster from poems mostly written around the same time.
“Live Oak, with Moss” by Walt Whitman was never published as a cohesive set of narrative poems. Instead, the poet incorporated the pieces into “Calamus” and Leaves of Grass.
This paper was written while I was in a graduate research methods class with Steven Olsen-Smith, who is a noted scholar of Walt Whitman’s and Herman Melville’s work.
“I Saw in Louisiana a Live-Oak Growing” is a short lyric poem made up of thirteen lines of free verse (verse written in no traditional meter). The speaker of the poem may be identified with. Walt Whitman‘s Live Oak, With Walt Whitman‘s Live Oak, With Moss, is an intricate portrayal of love, both physical and mental.
Throughout the poem, Whitman incorporates an array of metaphors symbolic of love and the many characteristics associated with love.