When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer

It’s that time again in the week when I invite you to share in #poetryfeedhe and it’s lunch time poem.
As so many of these poems are on the topic of teaching and learning – why not pull up a chair, grab a bite to eat and drink…
And have a few moments with this week’s poem?
All the best,

Poetry Feed HE

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 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.

This poem is in the public domain

This poem was written in 1865 by the American poet Walt Whitman, and as a university lecturer I find that it challenges me. The language that is used in this poem is incredibly eloquent, but it is also merciless. Whitman is having absolutely none of it as the astronomer in questions stands in his pulpit and preaches at his audience…

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