In Walt Whitman’s poem “I Hear America Singing”, one is exposed to an America seen by the eyes of a poet, essayist and journalist during the years of one of the most important times in American history, the Civil War. From 1819 to 1892, Whitman lived through many experiences, including the atrocities and successions of the Civil War, which not only lead to the establishment of his multiple accredited works, but also, the creation of the prideful, positive, jubilant image of America and its citizens in the poem “I Hear America Singing”. The poem exhibits these qualities through its free verse structure, repetition, and overall choice of words. Using free verse, Whitman demonstrates the kind of freedom the United States had won and continues to fight for, its rhythm not only attributes to this hidden meaning, but also creates a likeable tone for readers to interpret the poem in a non-forceful way; this allows one to read it leisurely. For example, this is shown especially in the last three lines of the poem, which say “Each singing what belongs to him or her and to none else, The day what belongs to the day - at night the party of young fellows, robust, friendly, Singing with open mouths their strong melodious songs.” This shows the empowerment of the gradual rise of democracy in citizens of America protesting and fighting for what they own and what they believe in not only as individuals, but also what they own as a nation. These lines exhibit the positive nature by not
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In “I Hear America Singing,” Walt Whitman’s message of the American identity is that it is diverse and proud. The fact the American identity is diverse is proven best in the first line, which states, “I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear.” In this line, the word “varied” proves that it is diverse because if something is varied it has a variety of things amassing it. The American identity being proud is proven by the line, “Each singing what belongs to him or her and to none else.” This line proves that the American identity is proud because it is saying that we celebrate what only we have. This celebration evinces that we are proud of what we gain by working.
America has produced many opportunities for the immigrants, who built the nation from the ground up. Those Immigrants are what make the American Identity unique with being recognized by the world. The nation went through the trial of fire beginning with the American Revolution, then the Civil War, and now Global Peace. Furthermore, each event has a common trait, which is the people, who came here to achieve their dreams. America has been the bastion of democracy and opportunities for many centuries. The similarities and differences between “I Hear America Singing,” “To Walt Whitman,” and “I, Too, Sing America” are viewpoints on America, motivates, experiences, and viewpoints.
In contrasting or comparing literary works it is crucial that the reader analyze the author's voice to gain a better understanding of the theme they are implying. In the contrast between the poems “I, too, sing America” by Langston Hughes, and “I hear America singing” by Walt Whitman it is clear that the two poets have very different point of views regarding American patriotism. Walt Whitman’s views on America’s joy and peace in his poems are very straightforward, while Langston Hughes poem--a response to Whitman’s--wants the reader to acknowledge what America should be like for everyone, including people of color such as himself. The authors of these poems prove to have conflicting judgements on matters in America including a theme of
The poems “The New Colossus” by Emma Lazarus and “I Hear America Singing” by Walt Whitman, exemplify the idea of American freedom in its purest form. While one poem talks about one most important symbols in American history, and another talks about the average American’s way of life, both poems convey the of American triumph and success.
America is a country that has been through many different times of trials. Wars and disease have spread across that nation several times. During times of depression, though, a group of people seems to always emerge from the destruction. That group of people are the poets and writers of America. Through trial and strife, writers are able to find inspiration for their works, and are able to give readers hope for a better day. Walt Whitman was an amazing writer who wrote several poems concerning the great United States of America, talking about the people that have built the nation up from the dust. But, a group of people that Whitman forgot to write about on most occasions were the slaves and black people of which America thrived. Langston Hughes was a black man in the 20th century that took note of Whitman's poems, and their lack of recognition towards his people. Whitman wrote a poem called, "I Hear America Singing," in which Hughes wrote the poem, "I, Too Sing America," in response. In the poem by Hughes, there are several different ways that the writing interlaces with Walt Whitman's.
The love in each poem is real and unique ranging from Walt Whitman's “I hear America singing” to Gregory Djanikian “Sailing to America”. Walt Whitman was born in brooklyn with very limited education during the 1800’s and published many amazing works of literature during his lifetime one of those is I hear America sing
The idea of an equal America exists no more. Regardless of the fact that there is a plethora of varying perspectives dividing the country into two, there are words and phrases that are generally accepted in viewing our country from the rest of the world. First, the American Dream is regularly associated with equal opportunity, prosperity, and liberty. Walt Whitman, as well as many others, have written about this desired America for the socially accepted American. He is often referred to as “America’s Poet,” who amplifies the elegant qualities of America that we believe to be true. It is obvious that Whitman portrays America as an alive and colorful place full of chance and flourishment throughout his work. “I Hear America Singing” is a prime example of an America that is only seen from the surface, where Whitman clearly indicates that the United States is a country where all its citizens are able to achieve equality and liberty. Contradictory, Sharon Olds poem, “On the Subway,” proves the lack of individual liberty, which deteriorates the growth of the country, ultimately opposing the America, where personal freedom is the foundation. Olds’ poem pokes holes in the surface that shows the controversial interior that truly makes up America that Whitman painted beforehand. Olds and Whitman also illustrate varying insight regarding personal liberty and its importance in two opposing poems; one who proclaims it as easily attainable and necessary to the country and the other who
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.
Set in America, the poem follows a man, potentially Walt Whitman, as he celebrates the pride found in an American citizen. Several careers are described throughout the poem in an effort to accentuate the amount of effort Americans put into their labor each day. Aside from no apparent significance to the structure and syntax of the poem, the author’s profound diction, such as blithe, melodious, delicious, and robust, emphasizes the honor the author feels towards Americans and their efforts. Whitman’s use of figurative language in his poem, “I Hear America Singing”, can be found through the individuals who are “singing”. Although the singing stated within the poem may be literal, it also demonstrates the passion and pride that the workers held
People may dream of a perfect society where everyone is similar--a utopia. People might believe building a utopia is a grand idea because they won’t have to worry about being bullied or discriminated. There couldn’t be any flaws in building a utopia-- accept everything. Yeah, everyone would be similar, and people probably won’t be bullied or discriminated, but are the consequences of fixing those proroblems going to be worth it. Absolutely not, imagine if there was only one kind of culture/one kind of person, let's say everyone is German, that means when there is an opportunity to go out to eat there will be no Mexican, no Chinese, no Italian, etc. The same food will be eaten just like any other day. Plus, food wouldn’t be the only thing affected
The preacher’s speech from chapter ten of The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck and the poem I Hear America Singing by Walt Whitman both contain many stylistic devices that convey these American authors’ purposes of revealing the common man. Whitman and Steinbeck both write about occupations and people in the working class to bring these often overlooked citizens to attention. Although Whitman illustrates his purpose through the use of poetry, and Steinbeck through prose, the literary devices they use to bring these ordinary men and women to light are very similar, and cause the reader to consider the lifestyles of people that are often overlooked. Steinbeck and Whitman both convey a glorification of the common man through the use of repetition, tone, and transcendence.
If one listens closely, they can hear America’s song. The words, like thunder, comprise the groans of the slave, the cheers of the free, and the unmistakable sounds of the brave. The music rings out as clear as day; it is composed by the growing children and the dying men. Walt Whitman and Langston Hughes captured the essence of these songs in their respective works, “I Hear America Singing” and “I, Too, Sing America.” The first describes the melodies of a working nation, the “the wood-cutter’s song” and the “delicious singing of the mother” (Whitman 7-8). The quiet musings of a young African American make up the latter; it is a hymn of hushed hope for tomorrow. Although the two poems stand alone, both Whitman’s and Hughes's works powerfully capture the song of America through the sense of pride found in each piece, the uses of different literary elements, and their individual views of the nation.
“I celebrate myself, and sing myself / and what I shall assume you shall assume” (Whitman 1-2). These lines not only open up the beginning of one the best poems of the American Romantic period, but they also represent a prominent theme of one of this period’s best poet, Walt Whitman. In Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself, Whitman deals with his time period’s most prominent theme of democracy. Whitman tells readers that they must not only observe the democratic life but they must become one with it. As Whitman states, “For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you” (3). Democracy provides a connection with all people. It is as if Joseph Stella felt this connection and decided to depict it in his collection of paintings entitled “Americans in the Rough.” The individual is of no greater or lesser worth than anyone else. Beatrice Marovich states that, “It is a song for fellow Americans, about the American body politic” (349). An analysis of Song of Myself portrays that understanding and becoming one with democracy through political collectivity essentially sets the stage for the American democratic self. Joseph Stella does a great job of interpreting and depicting Whitman’s ideals of democracy through his illustrations representing every facet of an American democratic life.
In his poems and life, Walt Whitman celebrated the human spirit and the human body. He sang the praises of democracy and marveled at the technological advances of his era. His direct poetic style shocked many of his contemporaries. This style, for which Whitman is famous, is in direct relation to several major American cultural developments. The development of American dictionaries, the growth of baseball, the evolution of Native American policy, and the development of photography all played a part and became essential components of Whitman’s poetry.