Walt Whitman and War Essay

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Walt Whitman was a revolutionary poet who let his emotions run free through his poetry. Whitman was never afraid to express himself no matter how inappropriate or offensive his emotions might have seemed at the time. This is why Whitman's poem still echo that same sentiment and emotion today almost as loudly as when the drums were first tapped.

Life in its ever-evolving glory seems at times to be nothing more than a serious of random events that lead us from one place to another. It takes many years of grace and wisdom to see that life is much more than that. Life is far bigger than any one person or group of people. Life is a lesson and sometimes lessons need to repeat. Life during the time of Walt Whitman was oddly and sadly similar
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Some will come home but countless others never will.

"No poem proud, I chanting bring to thee, nor mastery's rapturous


But a cluster containing night's darkness and blood-dripping wounds,

And psalms of the dead" ( Whitman 260).

These are the true cold harsh realities of war. It in all its painful and bloody visceral imagery is something that was Whitman's forte. Whitman told the true story of what it was like to be in the middle of war. Although Whitman himself was never in the army, His visual style can sometimes make it seem as though he was right there on the front lines fighting the enemy:

"With its cloud of skirmishers in advance,

With now the sound of a single shot snapping like a whip, and

Now an irregular volley,

The swarming ranks press on and on, the dense brigades press


Glittering dimly, toiling under the sun-the dust cover'd men,

In columns rise and fall to the undulations of the ground,

With artillery interspers'd-the wheels rumble, the horses sweat,

As the army corps advances" ( Whitman 242-3).

Whitman was able to do this almost effortlessly because he saw what was really going on. He volunteered as a wound-dresser; he wrote letters for wounded soldiers, he gave of himself tirelessly. Whitman saw his nation divided and stood to tell his tale. He was an everyman; he was any man. Whitman was the human embodiment of undying compassion. Most of all Whitman is something
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