Walt Whitman's "When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer" in Comic Form

Illustration for article titled Walt Whitmans When I Heard the Learnd Astronomer in Comic Form

Walt Whitman's powerful verses on science, understanding and the raw aesthetic sense of nature's beauty, taken from the poet's iconic collection Leaves of Grass and reimagined in paneled form by Zen Pencils' Gavin Aung Than.

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Whitman's is an interesting take on the enduring debate over science, and its ability to either elevate or diminish our appreciation for the Universe. One can't help but wonder what physicist Richard Feynman might have said of Whitman's poem, given his opinions on science's ability to "add to the excitement, beauty and awe of a flower."

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See more of Gavin's inspirational comic adaptations over at Zen Pencils. H/T Joe Hanson.

Illustration for article titled Walt Whitmans When I Heard the Learnd Astronomer in Comic Form

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DISCUSSION

matthewpetty
Matthew Petty

This poem has always annoyed me a little. I think science and scientists help us understand the world around us, and there's no reason why that should diminish the sense of wonder. Just read what Sagan, Tyson, Plait, Myers and so on have to say about the universe (and squid in the case of Myers).

This poem plays up the idea of poets and artists having a more intrinsic enjoyment (and even understanding) of nature. Almost like they "know better".