“Song of Myself” is an attempt by Walt Whitman to become the “American poet” as described by Ralph Waldo Emerson; he attempts to be “[T]he sayer, the namer, and [representative] of beauty” (Emerson 1182). Whitman wants to speak to and for America. Whitman does not explicitly choose sides on the slavery debate that was raging at the time of his writing, but he does express the equality of all people, regardless of gender and race in “Song of Myself”. While Whitman’s writing can be read as neutral but “Song of Myself” is, in reality, very anti-slavery and pro-equality.
From looking at the titles of Walt Whitman's vast collection of poetry in Leaves of Grass one would be able to surmise that the great American poet wrote about many subjects -- expressing his ideas and thoughts about everything from religion to Abraham Lincoln. Quite the opposite is true, Walt Whitman wrote only about a single subject which was so powerful in the mind of the poet that it consumed him to the point that whatever he wrote echoed of that subject. The beliefs and tenets of transcendentalism were the subjects that caused Whitman to write and carried through not only in the wording and imagery of his poems, but also in the revolutionary way that he chose to write his poetry.
In the middle of the poem, the speaker arrives at the number of casualties from the war. When he reads this number he can’t believe that he is still alive. As he reads down the names he uses the visual imagery and simile to describe how he expected to find his own name in “letters like smoke” (line 16). This helps the reader understand how lucky the speaker felt about somehow escaping the war still alive. As he goes
The poem was written to show that war is a waste of human life as the soldier knows he will die one day as well as the men around him, just some quicker than others. This can be evident in stanza four of the poem: “I know I’ll join them somewhere, one day.” The language used is more casual than formative, this is effective as it shows the personal feelings and thoughts of the soldier during the time
In the second stanza the distinctive experience of power is present. The use of the technique of imagery and emotive words “to pluck them from the shallows and bury them in burrows’ tells us that the soldiers were strong, loyal and had enough power within a degree to assist fellow soldiers. The use of personification to create sound “sob and clubbing of the gunfire” This leads the audience to understand what the soldiers were up against without even directly saying it. The imagery visually shows the scene in their
The poem starts with similar word choices as ‘The Soldier’ but written in the perspective of the mother. The mother tells his son that when he dies he will be in a place of ‘quietness’ and free from the ‘loss and bloodshed’. This reinforces the fact that the battlefield was full of horrors and death. The poem then moves onto how ‘men may rest themselves and dream of nought’ explaining that the soldiers do not have to fear for their lives after their death. This illustrates how they feared for their lives and had negative connotations.
Walt Whitman, a democratic poet, celebrated himself and his connection with the world by writing “Song of Myself” in 1855. According to Eric Forsythe, “Throughout the poem, Whitman probes the question of how large the new democratic self can become before it dissipates into contradiction and fragmentation, and each time he seems to reach the limit, he dilates even more” (Forsythe). The poem shaped the idea of what it meant to be an American, by bringing citizens together. It also foreshadowed the Civil War, which began in 1861, through a symbol of grass. In “Song of Myself,” Whitman’s themes of individualism and carpe diem developed from the transcendentalist movement.
Similarly to trees who are cut down only to be replaced by another the soldiers were constantly being replaced by another because they were dying rapidly for a war that wasn't going anywhere. This proves the theme that the immature can fight, it takes true maturity to settle ones’ differences because, had the people been mature enough to settle their problems reasonably the soldiers wouldn't be piling up and they would instead be bearing fruit that would have actually worked to better the nation, instead of dying to settle an old feud. Diction/ Tone “People scorned the…” -Europe line 13 By using the word “scorned” to describe the Peoples feelings Whitman creates a disappointed tone toward his fellow americans.
In the opening lines of the poem where the soldiers, “sway and wander in the water far under,” he manages to tell us that the tone of the poem is soft and calming. But it eventually changes to become blunt and it is evident in the line, “the sob and clubbing of gunfire.” This shows us the brutality of war and how horrifying it is. Even the title of the poem is a paradox itself. The beach is normally a place to have fun but in the poem it is described to be a place of death because the word “burial” is put next to it.
War poetry displays an accurate representation of the sensations felt during the horrid times of battle. In the novel The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger, D.B. asks Allie, “who was the best war poet, Rupert Brooke or Emily Dickinson” (140). The question proposed can be answered with many different opinions, as the individual's knowledge and understanding of each poet will impact their decision. In contrast to Rupert Brooke, Emily Dickinson is clearly the superior war poet as she portrays soldiers and the idea of death in an insightful manner, which causes the reader to go beyond their comprehension of the words to recognize the full potential of the poem.
Even though the southerners are technically his enemy, he still loves them tenderly as he would his own kin. His family has been killed at the hands of his family. There were many pale-faced men as this who were unfortunate victims of civil warfare. This is a terrible tragedy, and Whitman challenges this by asking what happens after these "hard-fought engagements or sieges tremendous? What deepest remains" (The Wound-Dresser, l 12)? The answer, only those who survive to tell the tale remain. Is it really something to celebrate after massacring your fellow countrymen? One might point out the heroics and bravery exhibited in the war, men have been made stronger and is just a growing experience for the country, but "was one side so brave? The other was equally brave" (The Wound-Dresser, l 8). The heroics and bravery are without direction in this war. If you commit a great act of sacrifice, then the results only hurt those whom you share land with, your countrymen, your brethren. Whitman grieves for these people, "for my enemy is dead. A man as divine as myself is dead" (Reconciliation, l 4). There is no purpose to this feud; it has extinguished a man, who is an equal, from this world. By speaking of his enemies as his equals and as divine as himself, he captures their humanity and in effect how inhumane it is to destroy them utterly. Through this portrayal of parity in the humanness of those who endure torture, Whitman thrusts out that the war ultimately
Walt Whitman was one of the best literary figures of that time and through history because people still love his books. After Whitman stopped writing he decided to become a nurse during the Civil War. His most famous book was Leaves of Grass; it is now a trademark book through history. He also wrote about the potential freedom in America.
Whitman is able to traverse both time and distance and connect with his readers, through the use of simple diction, as so few other poets can. His mastery of verbiage draws readers into the poem, and creates a poetic experience like no other. In “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry,” Whitman creates a vignette into the Brooklyn of the past, as he connects it to the present, in surprising ways. Omnipresence allows the reader to envision themselves in the settings created and to interpret them into modern language. Whitman connects with his readers in a fascinating and deeply personal ways, by creating a path through the cities of the past to the people of the present.
causes the poem to flow, and thus lightens up the dark and serious issue of war. The lines "But ranged as infantry, And staring face to face, I shot at him as he at me, And killed him in his place." are easy to read; however, their meaning is extremely