Whitman s This Moment Yearning and Thoughtful is a work which was written to convey a sense of coexistence with other

nations. Written during the later part of Whitman s life, this poem was the product of Whitman s emerging insight of the world. The first line of the poem begins with this moment yearning and thoughtful sitting alone . Though the line itself is rather vague, it presents a particular image of a person who has the ability to want and the ability to think. The second and third lines begin introducing the idea of coexisting with other people from other lands when it states that it seems to me there are other men in other lands yearning and thoughtful. By using the same phrase, yearning and thoughtful , to describe people in foreign lands, Whitman conveys the idea that people in other lands are alike us, as they are yearning and thoughtful like us. Whitman then continues by mentioning several closer nations in Europe such as Germany, Italy, France, and Spain, then mentioning farther away nations like China and Russia, and other nations where other dialects are spoken. Already presenting an imagery of many different and diverse cultures, Whitman continues by writing that if he could know those men, [he] should become attached to them as [he] does to men in [his] own lands. That line gives a profound suggestion to the reader, stating that one should treat people from other lands just like one would treat people from his/her own land. However, it is interesting that he does not mention Africa as one of those far off places in this poem, for the African American people had just been liberated not long before during that particular period of time in history. In addition, those countries that were mentioned were all nations that were undergoing industrialization at a similar pace that America was undergoing, though they may not have been as speedily progressing as America was. Whitman might have done this so that readers at the time would be able to at least slightly establish some sort of similarity to the people of the named nations as compared to the savages of the Pacific Islands. Whitman continues to conclude the poem with the line O I know we should be brethren and lovers, I know I should be happy with them. At first glance, the line just seems like a nice way of ending the poem, telling the reader to coexist with people of other nations. However, the use of the word should makes the line sound as if something should be but isn t. It almost seems like the line I know I should be happy with them is going to be followed with a phrase like but I am not. So, Whitman s This Moment Yearning and Thoughtful , centered around the idea of coexistence, concludes with a line that suggests that though there should be coexistence in the world, there will always be racism and conflict among different cultures.

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