Study Guide

As I Ebb'd With the Ocean of Life Summary

By Walt Whitman

As I Ebb'd With the Ocean of Life Summary

A poet stands on the shore of his hometown, musing on how familiar the shores are. He notes the fields to the side of the shore and the ever-present tide. He becomes seized by a feeling of inspiration and unity with the land and the ocean, even with the people who, like himself, wander along both. But then he's seized by something else: a deep existential crisis. He feels like nature is chastising him for taking pride in his work. But this feeling fades as he continues to walk, and he finds a sense of peace and unity by feeling one with everything and everyone in nature. In the end, he even addresses God, telling Him about his revelation.

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