War Takes Over Everything in Walt Whitman’s Poem, Drum Taps

645 Words Feb 20th, 2018 3 Pages
When analyzing the poem, the first stanza talks about the movement of war from the farms, the second stanza talks about the progression of war from the farm to the city. In stanza three this journey continues through the battlefield, through the halls of power and finally into the homes, moving from the public to private spheres of life. Throughout the entire poem there is an emphasized pulse of drums that beats within the lines. This pulse of drums resonates throughout the entire poem and prompts me to wonder how Whitman intended to utilize this mechanism. Furthermore, I want to uncover if the sounds of these drums is symbolic in some way, and if they are, then I wonder if this symbolism represents a positive view or negative view on war.
My first interpretation is that these drums represent Whitman’s negative perspective on war. I feel that the use of the pulse of drums throughout the poem acts as a mechanism that Whitman uses in order to discourage war. I feel that these sounds are symbolic of the dire news at the time that consisted of the battles. It seems that Whitman is addressing this pulse of drums in attempt to highlight the effect this war will have on the country. In this poem, I see the clear cry for battle as a cry by someone who is naïve and does not yet know what the ultimate cost of war…
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