I Saw In Louisiana A Live Oak Growing Poem by Walt Whitman - Poem Hunter
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Without any companion it grew there, uttering joyous leaves of dark green,. And its look, rude, unbending, lusty, made me think of myself;.
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And brought it away—and I have placed it in sight in my room;. Newsletter Subscribe Give.
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I saw in Louisiana a live-oak growing,. All alone stood it and the moss hung down from the branches,. Without any companion it grew there uttering joyous leaves of dark green,. And its look, rude, unbending, lusty, made me think of myself,. And I broke off a twig with a certain number of leaves upon it, and twined around it a little moss,.
And brought it away, and I have placed it in sight in my room,. It is not needed to remind me as of my own dear friends,. For I believe lately I think of little else than of them,. He feels as if he can relate to the tree. The tree is alone just like him.
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I like the imagery too. I feel like you do picture the moss hanging out from the branches. I agree with you Marilyn. He does feel as if the Live-Oak tree is his friend. He is also comparing himself to the tree. The tree is alone and he is alone as well. He almost feels as if he can relate to the Live-Oak tree and feels a connection to it. Another way to interpret it is the fact that he is very picky about friends and doesn't just let anyone in his life.
He also feels as if he doesn't just need to be accepted by anyone in his life.
I Saw in Louisiana a Live-Oak Growing
The tree represents how he sees himself! He sees himself developing as a person alone. The leaves might be a represent the people that come in and out of his life. The leaves on trees come and go every year, just as certain people come in and out of our lives every season. I think the poem could be about how people are always coming and going in his life.
I agree with the comparison between Whitman and the Live Oak Tree. An example is when he says "all alone stood it, and the moss hung down from the branches. Another example of why I agree he is comparing himself to the tree is when he says "without any companion, it grew there. I agree also with Robert that there is imagery in this poem; and how this poem makes the audience imagine a tree filled with "uttering joyous leaves of dark green. I agree what the above people have said that the man feels and is alone. I believe the tree is a metaphor of himself being being alone. Even though the tree is healthy with "joyous leaves of dark green", the live-oak tree symbolizes loneliness of the man because nothing was near the tree.
The man relates and compares himself to it because he sees the tree is all alone just like his current state of him being lonely but he also contradicts himself and says "without its friend near, for I knew I could not. How it states in the 11th stanze "it is not to needed to remind as of my own dear friends" meaning that he Walt has no friends.
I agree with the comments above that Whitman is comparing himself to the tree. Through the lines "all alone stood it and the moss hung down from the branches, without any companion it grew there uttering joyous leaves of dark green", it seems he feels very lonely in his life. I noticed though on another line he says "but I wonder'd how it could utter joyous leaves standing alone there without its friend near, for I knew I could not".
I think what he meant was even though he felt lonely, he wouldn't be able to actually be alone with no one to be there for him.
I agree and disagree Ivan. Whitman was making an observation about the tree and relating it to himself. He see's the tree as something strong and beautiful, yet it stands alone, something he could not do. He wishes to be strong and independent like the tree, but Whitman relies upon friends and loved ones while the tree stands away from anything else.
So I do think he is relating to the tree.
But I'm not sure loneliness is really a main point of the poem. Despite his direct approach, there seems to be an underlying meaning behind it. The speaker, as it seems to me, is the author comparing himself to that of the tree. Unlike himself, Whitman describes the tree as " without a companion it grew there uttering joyous leaves of dark green" Unlike a human being, tree do not distinguish between human like thoughts nor feelings nor whether another tree acknowledges its beauty.
The tree relies merily on its nutrients being fulfilled in order to live or express its uttering joyous dark green leaves as Whitman describes. He describes this when he states "But i wonder'd how it could utter joyous leaves standing alone there without its friend near, for i knew i could not". Whitman also mentions breaking off a piece of the tree a twig with a certain amound of leaves as a reminder of how it comes to mind that with its token of beauty, it could sit there strong-willed and beautiful without a companion in a "wide flat space".
When Whitman brings up the topic of manly love,"yet it remains to me a curious token, it makes me think of manly love", i believe he is trying to describe a characteristic of a man, using the world "manly" to describe how a man, in comparison to a woman, should be able to stand alone, strong willed e. Unlike everyone above me, I would say that the poem isn't about Whitman looking at something that reminds him of himself, but instead something that resembles something he isn't, and maybe something he wants to be.
He notes common traits that he shares with the tree, but then goes on to say multiple times how happy the tree looks without anyone around it. He mentions friends and how reliant on them he is, and how he even needs to bring the branch as a memento so as not to feel distant from this admirable thing; the number of times where Whitman says he isn't like the tree outweighs the single time he says otherwise I'd say that this poem shows Whitman's admiration for those able to be happy in solitude, without the strength of friends or family to lean on.
I'm on the fence on this one. Part of it seems like he's envious of the tree and part of it seems like he's happy he's not the tree. Like, he's admiring that the tree can grow without any sort of friend, probably because it's a tree and it doesn't care where it grows, and part of the poem seems like there's some note of pity towards the tree. Like, he's happy that he's got friends and loved ones there, but the tree doesn't have any of it.
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