Walt Whitman

(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892 / New York / United States)

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A child said, What is the grass?


A child said, What is the grass? fetching it to me with full
hands;
How could I answer the child?. . . .I do not know what it
........................
........................
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Comments about this poem (A child said, What is the grass? by Walt Whitman )

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  • Veteran Poet - 4,604 Points * Sunprincess * (6/18/2014 10:14:00 AM)

    ..........the curiosity of this child has taken us from what is the grass....to what has happened to the men and women.....love the poet's view of death....very nicely written... (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 565 Points Francis Lynch (6/11/2014 4:23:00 PM)

    Why bring God into the meaning of anything? (Report) Reply

    Veteran Poet - 4,604 Points * Sunprincess * (6/18/2014 10:17:00 AM)

    ............cause the majority of us believe there is a supreme being, who is our creator....and most of us call him God....he has many different names.... hope this helps to answer your question...

  • Rookie - 10 Points Surajit Banerjee (6/2/2014 4:05:00 AM)

    The smallest sprouts show there is really no death,
    And if ever there was it led forward life - the eternal bliss a wonderful gift to the world by Indian Philosophy. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 10 Points Surajit Banerjee (6/2/2014 3:58:00 AM)

    The smallest sprouts show there is really no death,
    And if ever there was it led forward life - the eternal bliss an wonderful gift to the world by Indian Philosophy. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 10 Points Cambridge Keenan (7/14/2013 11:02:00 PM)

    A clever and fascinating poem....it is pure wonder, the quests of a child seeking answers...I remember when my boy saved a worms life and oh the knowledge he sought after even to this day :) I really like this poem, as my mom is now 90 years of age...this is heart felt for me :) (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 31 Points Miroslava Odalovic (6/11/2013 8:36:00 AM)

    This is, has always been one of the most important poems ever written, opening the questions of existence dating back to Old Greek wonder at creation to the modern negative attitude to life being endlessly piled over life, in an almost absurd way, and whenever I read I have a feeling that Whitman has incorporated almost all the shades standing between, beginning with awesome divinity to a highly ambiguous depiction of death 'luckier' when we think, depending on what luck means for each individual person. The layers of historical thinking summerized in an apparently short piece of writing. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 0 Points Deci Hernandez (6/11/2012 4:07:00 PM)

    I was wondering after the grass is plucked why then does it's color remain and it's form not instantly stiff'n. it can even still can be woven. (Report) Reply

  • Freshman - 1,718 Points Pranab K Chakraborty (6/11/2012 9:21:00 AM)

    After a long reading, one thing is clear from this specific poem, the child is Whitman himself and deliberately wants to communicate a truth.......

    They are alive and well somewhere;
    The smallest sprouts show there is really no death,
    And if ever there was it led forward life, and does not wait
    at the end to arrest it,
    And ceased the moment life appeared.

    Here the asker and the answerer....both the poet plays within a single conscious. Nice. (Report) Reply

  • Freshman - 1,718 Points Sarsha C (5/31/2012 9:40:00 PM)

    I suppose when you sit and ponder something it is about opening your mine to more then one possibility in life and questions does any one person have all the information to answer any question is anything more then a metaphor or just some ones opinion, Is there fact or fiction I guess it could be both. (Report) Reply

  • Freshman - 1,718 Points Leah Harden (1/13/2012 11:45:00 AM)

    I love how it uses grass to explain the circle of life. He explains that those who die (their beards, their hair, the young or the old) nurture and feed the grass to grow and hence life continues around and around never ending and never waisting anything symbolising no ending only a new beginning. All that is lost can be re sewn, giving life to the grass and forming why and what it stands for an might be. Beautiful (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 109 Points Stan Petrovich (6/11/2011 9:40:00 AM)

    Whitman can go on writing like that forever. The 'wordiest' poet ever, except for maybe Ginsberg. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 315 Points Juan Olivarez (6/11/2010 9:43:00 AM)

    I am no expert, and I just finnished reading Walt Whitmans leaves of grass and I must say that I did not find it at all enlightening. I do not know what all of the raves are about, but to me he just seems to ramble on and on, jumping from one subject to the other.That is just my humble opinion, and like I said I am no expert. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 315 Points Kevin Straw (6/11/2010 7:24:00 AM)

    Nope. It don't do it for me. Grass is grass. All flesh is grass. A fancy border round a plain picture which could stand by itself. A too-elaborate and unnecessary rif on a good old song. Don't deceive a child, the Bible says, don't say you cannot when you can. A poet preening himself with his poetical verbosity. There is something false and inbred about this poem. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 147 Points Ramesh T A (6/11/2010 2:17:00 AM)

    The child may have asked a simple question to know the truth; but it requires a philosophical analysis to answer for the child to know the truth! It has provoked Whitman to give a long answer by this explorative poetry very nice! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 147 Points Michael Pruchnicki (6/11/2009 5:02:00 PM)

    OK I get it, I thought as I read the comments posted by POEWHIT et al about Whitman's 'A child said, What is the grass? ' It is all those things that Whitman imagined in the poem, as well as what you think it means. Poewhit said the poem captures 'the cycle of life, ' OK I say so what? Mahlanga's drivel about 'a new view of life' means nothing to a reader like me who eschews propaganda like his! Maybe a handkerchief deposited by God is the best poetic expression of all, I just don't know! Do you, dear reader? (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 147 Points Joseph Poewhit (6/11/2009 9:03:00 AM)

    Whitman and his understanding of life captures the cycle of life. Grass grows and renews each year. Only for life to trim it. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 147 Points Tsg Mahlangu (6/11/2009 4:53:00 AM)

    Life can be viewed in different forms and many have and may want to know about what exactly life entails, reading this poem has enabled me to change my mind set completetly and have a new view of life, hence life at times can give us what we aspire.I for one am on your side and say you are absolutely correct Whitman, TSG M. (Report) Reply

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