Structure. "When I Heard the Learned Astronomer" is made up of eight lines, each of which is part of a single, lengthy phrase. The first four lines all begin with the word "when," creating the sense that they are facts rather than poetry (though repetition is, of course, a poetic trope). The next four lines continue this pattern, but change the subject from when to who: the astronomer is mentioned again in line 5 and then replaced by a more important figure in Greek history, Alexander the Great. The final two lines return to the theme started in line 1: that both the learned astronomer and Alexander were well-known figures.
This poem is probably not about astronomy at all, but about history. The astronomer could be any number of people, while Alexander the Great is one of the most famous generals in history. He conquered much of Asia before he died in 323 B.C., so it's not surprising that there are poems and stories about him everywhere he went.
The poem may also be referring to the fact that astronomers used to wear clothes like those worn by doctors and lawyers today. They were usually white, with a black belt and pants or skirts. Women wore jewelry like rings and necklaces.
It's possible that the poet has mixed up astronomers with physicians because they did work together back then. Physicians treated patients who were sick, while astronomers studied the stars and planets.
In Whitman's poem "When I heard the learned astronomer," the author or narrator describes what he sees and hears during a lecture, including the many diagrams and charts that are part of it, despite feeling fatigued and unwell. The poem was written sometime between 1867 and 1871.
The poem starts with the line: "When I heard the learned astronomer." This refers to Edward Emerson Barnard, who gave lectures about astronomy at Harvard University. The poem then goes on to describe what the narrator saw and heard during one of these lectures.
Whitman was an American poet who was known for his democratic views and love poems to other women. He started writing poetry while working as an engineer for the Pennsylvania Railroad Company. After retiring due to illness, he went back to writing poetry full time.
Some scholars believe that this poem is based on a real experience. They say that it sounds like something that would have happened during one of Barnard's lectures. Others think that it is just a creative work by Whitman where he imagined hearing someone speak about astronomy.
However you look at it, this is one of Whitman's most famous poems and has been used in school textbooks around the world. It is also included in the classic collection called "The Norton Anthology of Poetry".
In "When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer," the speaker attends a public lecture about the stars given by an astronomer. The astronomer's scientific perspective on the stars is unpleasant to the speaker. So, the speaker goes outside and listens to the sounds of birds singing in comparison to the astronomer's description of the stars.
What is the poet's intention in using the word "learn'd astronomer" in line 1 of the poem? To imply that the astronomer is a world-class scholar in his subject to imply that the astronomer is knowledgeable but lacks creativity.
The word "learn'd" means "having learned; having experienced"; it can also mean "belonging to or being a teacher". Thus, the word "learn'd" describes an experience-based person who is also educated. This contradicts the common misconception that someone has to be educated to be learned. Indeed, many artists, musicians, dancers, and writers have been praised for their skills even though they may not have any formal education in their subjects.
The word "astronomer" comes from the Greek word "astronomos", which means "one who studies stars". So, an astronomer is a person who studies stars, planets, and other objects from space using telescopes.
In conclusion, the word "learn'd" indicates that the astronomer is a skilled person who knows how to use tools effectively and has experienced various things in life. He/she is not necessarily educated, although he/she might have some degree or diploma. These characteristics are important because astronomers need to think critically and creatively to solve problems relating to astronomy. They also need to have knowledge about different topics within astronomy to be able to discuss these issues with others.
Whitman initially included "When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer" in his poetry book Drum-Taps in 1865. Whitman expresses his view in the limitations of employing science to comprehend nature in the poem. Rather than quantifying nature, Whitman contends that one must feel it in order to truly comprehend it. In this regard, the learn'd astronomer studies Nature through lenses made from Earth's eyes.
Nature is beyond human comprehension because humans are limited beings. Even the best scientists of today can only observe and record what has been discovered before them. They cannot create new knowledge about nature because their senses cannot perceive things that are not already known. As Whitman says: "What use such knowledge as this is?/ What have we here within our power?/ We move a star or two;/ Or perhaps a planet lost/ From its orbit?"
The learn'd astronomer studies nature through lenses made from Earth's eyes. These lenses limit him or her to seeing only what is visible from Earth. The astronomer can see stars that are invisible to us and can calculate the distance to galaxies far away from Earth. But he or she cannot see what is happening below the surface of the Earth or above it. The only way to understand these processes is with theories created by humans which are always limited by what can be perceived with the mind alone.
For example, astronomers know there is water on Mars but they can only speculate as to how much there is.