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Crossing Brooklyn Ferry

Crossing Brooklyn Ferry


by Walt Whitman

Section 13 Summary

Get out the microscope, because we’re going through this poem line-by-line.

Lines 60-64

I too lived, (I was of old Brooklyn,)
I too walked the streets of Manhattan Island, and bathed in the waters around it,
I too felt the curious abrupt questionings stir within me,
In the day, among crowds of people, sometimes they came upon me,
In my walks home late at night, or as I lay in my bed, they came upon me.

  • Here again we get that classic Whitman phrase, "I too."
  • Just like us (not really), Whitman lived in Brooklyn, walked around Manhattan, and bathed in the East River, which could couldn't do today – it's much too polluted.
  • And there's that word "curious" again. Doesn't "curious abrupt questionings," sound a little sexual? With Whitman it's always hard to tell, because he does a good job of covering his tracks. He could be talking about his earlier "curiosity" about the other passengers on his ship, although this, too, was never described in detail.
  • At any rate, he has these questionings at night in bed, too.

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