When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer Discussion Questions

This Study Guide consists of approximately 19 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer.
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The Civil War was a major inspiration for the collection of poems in which "When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer" was originally published. Read about the history of the Civil War and research Whitman's activities during the period. How do you think the conflict affected the poem? Which of the main themes of Drum-Taps apply to the poem? How does it express them differently or uniquely? Describe and compare other historical or contextual themes in "When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer."

What is your impression of Whitman's feelings towards science and astronomy after reading "When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer"?" Research Whitman's personal interest in the subject and read about the scientific advances of the 1860s, such as the discoveries in spectroscopy by the astronomer Gustav Robert Kirchhoff. How does this information affect your understanding of the poem? How do you think the message of the...

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This section contains 373 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.