Mark Bauerlein: On "Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking"
"Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking" is not so much a dramatic poem staging the activation of Whitman’s innate poetic genius as it is a "reminiscence" describing his conscious entry into reading and writing, discourse and interpretation. The boy is interpolated into a particular semiotic order, a vocal chain of signifiers bound together, in this case, by a common emotive signified, "lonesome love." Recognizing the temporal origin and destiny of his utterance, Whitman joins the procession of singer-signmakers, knowing that others will follow and "translate" his words just as he has "translated" his "brother’s" "notes." The boy’s singular version of the bird’s lament, therefore, is less a spontaneous outburst of love springing from his awakened heart than it is a transient permutation of elegaic narrative.
|Title||Mark Bauerlein: On "Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking"||Type of Content||Criticism|
|Criticism Author||Mark Bauerlein||Criticism Target||Walt Whitman|
|Criticism Type||Poet||Originally Posted||18 May 2020|
|Publication Status||Excerpted Criticism||Publication||Whitman and the American Idiom|
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