Literary Analysis of “Give Me the Splendid Silent Sun” by Whitman

In his January 6th, 1865 letter to other writer and self-confessed radical William O’ Connor, Walt Whitman states in simply no uncertain terms that their poetry collection Drum Shoes “ delivers my goal… to convey… the pending activity of the time and property we swim in, together with all (its) despair… typically the unprecedented anguish of the suffering, the beautiful teenage boys, in wholesale death in addition to agony. ” But inside contrast to this look at, Whitman also declares Drum Taps as a collection which usually reverberates with “ typically the blast of the trumpet plus the undertones of… comradeship and human love, (with) the clear notes of faith and triumph” (Bradley 765).

In the poem “ Give Myself the luxurious Silent Sun, ” first published in Drum Taps in May associated with 1865, Whitman describes their emotional attachment to the particular Civil War through his own experiences in New york where the war attempts of the North were being examined and discussed by simply virtually every citizen. In his landmark work American Renaissance, F. O. Matthiessen notes that Whitman’ t “ deepened perception in the meaning of suffering” brought on by his “ resolution to turn into a volunteer nurse during the Civil War” resulted inside the creation of Trommel Taps (537). While residing in Manhattan, Whitman observed “ the sound from the trumpets and drums” (line 30), “ the rustle and clang of muskets” (line 39) and observed “ the soldiers in companies or regiments” (line 31) and “ typically the dense brigade… with high piled military wagons” (lines 34-35), all examples associated with the on-going struggle between the Union as well as the Confederacy over state’ s privileges and slavery.

This poem, nevertheless , is not necessarily totally concerned with the particular war, as in Whitman’ s anthem “ Conquer! Beat! Drums! ” within which he explores their dedication towards the military rules of the North. In “ Give Me the Splendid Silent Sun, ” Whitman offers two conflicting parts of view, the first being a calm, peaceful co-existence with nature which may only be achieved via a complete indifference to the particular war, and secondly, a turbulent, war-mongering attitude full with flag-waving, cheering crowds of people, marching soldiers and exhibits of military pomp in addition to circumstance in the roadways of Manhattan.

Whitman’ s use associated with declamation or rhetorical speech, as in “ Song of Myself, ” is also highly represented in “ Give Me the Splendid Silent Sun, ” with regard to he interprets and guards his ideals of characteristics with commands like “ Give me a field” (line 3), “ Give me an arbor” (line 4), “ Give me personally fresh corn” (line 5) and “ Give myself nights perfectly quiet” (line 6). As opposed, he shows his ambivalence with lines like “ Keep your current woods O Nature” (20), “ Keep your fields of clover” (22) in addition to “ Keep the flourishing buckwheat fields” (24), just about all in relation to his yearning to join the celebrations in the streets associated with Manhattan due to his / her love for city lifestyle.

In the particular first stanza of “ Give Me the Splendid Silent Sun, ” Whitman presents a portrait of characteristics separate from “ the particular noise of the world” (line 12), a metaphor indicative of the metropolitan dissonance of the town, a product in the Commercial Revolution. The “ marvelous silent sun” symbolizes typically the source of all life on earth, with “ splendid” denoting the changes in the seasons which deliver forth ripe fruits, career fields of wheat, arbors plus fresh vegetables, while “ silent” points to the particular sun’ s indifference to the societies of guy. Whitman’ s primal link with nature is shown in such phrases as “ Give me odorous at sunrise a garden of beautiful flowers” (line 8), “ Give me a best child” (line 12) plus “ Give me solitude, give me Nature” (line 11).

Whitman’ s poetic vision in “ Give Me the particular Splendid Silent Sun” also revolves around music which appropriately must be communicated in most poetry in order to maintain an idea of balance, tone and rhythmic construction. “ Give me to be able to warble spontaneous songs recluse by myself, for the ears only” (lines 8-9) demonstrates Whitman is a new musical being dependent about the music of character and existence. His “ spontaneous songs, ” a mirrored image of his need to be able to improvise, demonstrates his individual harmony with nature by way of a chord tuned to be able to his spiritual self, the contrapuntal fugue in touch along with nature’ s “ fundamental sanities! ” (line 12).

At the conclusion of this stanza, Whitman verso himself with “ still I adhere to my city/Day upon day in addition to year upon year” (lines 16-17) which reinforces his love for the town in contrast to his longing for nature. The “ splendid silent sun” can now be replaced with images of the city within the second stanza– “ Give me faces in addition to streets” (line 27), “ Produce women– give me comrades and lovers simply by the thousand! ” (line 28) and “ Provide me Broadway” (line 29). This serves as a new second means for Whitman in order to describe his delight along with music through the vocalizations of the people in the streets plus the exhibits on Broadway with their bawdy renditions of dancing plus singing– the heartbeat of Manhattan that Whitman so adores.

Towards the conclusion of the particular second stanza, the songs continues using the rhythms of “ soldiers marching” (line 29), the blaring of trumpets and the banging associated with drums which shows Whitman’ s adoration for army processions. This musical extravaganza terminates with “ People… with strong voices” (line 36), “ Manhattan roads with their powerful throbs” (line 37) and “ The endless and raucous chorus… the turbulent musical chorus” (line 39) of the boisterous crowds of recent York City, shouting in addition to singing the joys regarding their forthcoming victory over the Confederacy.

The final line associated with “ Give Me typically the Splendid Silent Sun” presents Whitman’ s ultimate decision– he wishes to be offered “ Manhattan faces in addition to eyes forever. ” In spite of his love for characteristics and the peacefulness that it represents, Whitman’ s disposition remains unalterable, due to be able to the fever pitch developed by the Civil Battle in the boroughs and neighborhoods of New You are able to City, for he provides accepted, without reserve, the chaotic, turbulent society inherent in the city.


Bradley, Scully & Harold W. Blodgett, Eds. “ Whitman on His Fine art: Comments, 1855-1892. ” Leaves of Grass. NY: T. W. Norton, 1973.

Matthiessen, F. O. American Renaissance: Art in addition to Expression in the Age group of Emerson and Whitman. NY: Oxford UP, lates 1970s.