Out Of Cradle Endlessly Rocking By

The ability to pinpoint the birth or beginning of the poet lifestyle is rare. It
is rare for the observer as it is for the writer. The Walt Whitman poem Out of
the Cradle Endlessly Rocking is looked at by most as just that. It is a
documentation, of sorts, of his own paradigm shift. The realities of the world
have therein matured his conceptual frameworks. In line 147 we read "Now in
a moment I know what I am for, I awake" (Baym 1041). This awakening is at
the same time a death. The naiveté of the speaker (I will assume Whitman) is
destroyed. Through his summer long observation, the truths of life are born, or
at least reinforced, in him. The obvious elements are birth and death, which are
both caused by another instance of the latter (death of the
"she-bird"). Nature\'s role is ever-present. Not only in the sense of
it giving a constant livable environment, but also almost deified in the
personification of its will and actions. The birth of vision in the speaker is
due not only to the observation of death, as that is just a single occurrence,
but to the observation of the role of nature in all of its mysterious cycles.

Nature is not the sole source of dramatic symbolism in the piece. The actions of
the characters themselves reflect the piece\'s definite goals. Though these
"characters" set the scene and take center stage at different points,
it must be remembered that what occurs is removed from the reader by two
filters. The first is the filter of interpretation by the boy who is witnessing
the events, it is then filtered through the memory of the boy become both man
and poet. The boy has Palomo2 thus created a profound story of want and
injustice through translation of natural occurrence (sounds and sea), and the
man-poet has created a path though which all could trace the progression of
these messages into the poet\'s insight ("Poems" 8). Due to this fact,
the central character in this piece is the boy, foreshadowing what he is to
become. Attention is not focused on the birds and sea themselves, but on the
boy-man\'s growing understanding brought on by them. They are then factors in the
equation of nature and speaker. The seemingly autobiographical nature of this
piece instantly calls for observation. The speaker is an older Whitman, advanced
and experienced. The poem is a remembrance of his childhood from afar. This
gives Whitman the opportunity to distance himself from the time period and make
further matured observation. As said before, the experience written from here is
a major cause of his personal assent. The structure of time changes throughout
the piece, but is consistent. The first stanza of the poem is mostly in the
present tense as the advanced Whitman is summarizing the events before he tells
of them. On line seven (still the first stanza) Whitman begins to go deeper into
summarized explanation with a change to past tense. Here he tells, quite
literally, of the two birds\' effect on him as recognized by an older man, but
originally seen through a child\'s eye. He speaks of the power it held over his
senses and how it forces the coming flashback. "From the memories of the
bird that chanted to me, From your memories sad brother, from the fitful risings
and falling I heard, From under that yellow half-moon late-risen and swollen as
if with tears, From those beginning notes of yearning and love there in the
mist, From the thousand responses of my heart never to cease, Palomo3 From the
myriad thence-arous\'d words, From the word stronger and more delicious than any,

From such as now they start the scene revisiting," His words come by list
in force. He speaks of the emotions brought on by the bird\'s song and the
environmental setting of his piece. He then makes mention of all the words
forced upon him upon his epiphany. The word "stronger and more delicious
than any" is the word death. This is found in line 168, but eluded to in
the introduction. On the shore near the childhood home of Whitman, the scene is
set in May when he as a boy, finds a nest of birds, male and female and their
eggs. In his observations he translates the actions of the birds through
personification. The birds\' thoughts are his own interpretation. He witnesses
what he believes to be true love between the