* Site-Outage Notice: Our engineering elves will be tweaking the Shmoop site from Monday, December 22 10:00 PM PST to Tuesday, December 23 5:00 AM PST. The site will be unavailable during this time.
Dismiss
© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer

When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer

by Walt Whitman

Analysis: Tough-O-Meter

(2) Sea Level

"When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer" is frequently taught in introductory poetry classes. We have a sneaking suspicion that poetry teachers love it because it takes not-so-subtle digs at math and science. (Can't we all get along?) Leaving that aside, the poem does not use complicated language. In fact, one of its major themes is that a fancy education isn't necessary to appreciate the wonders of the world. Whitman is always more complex than he seems (which is not to say difficult), but an average reader will have no problem plumbing the depths of this gem.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...

Advertisement
Noodle's College Search
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement