Whitman's Diction

Decent Essays
Over the years, the styles and tendencies of writing have evolved rapidly. Poetry in particular has gone through many eras to become what it is today. In the nineteenth century, Walt Whitman was an innovative poet who eventually became one of the “founding fathers” of modern day poetry. One of Whitman’s unique poems was “ When the Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d.” This poem is a long elegy written in free verse that uses many literary techniques such as imagery, strong symbolism, and repetition. “When the Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d” is just one example of Whitman’s unique free verse poetry that is appreciated today. Whitman is apparent with his heartache relating to Abraham Lincoln’s death, he is particularly candid in his poem, “When the Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d.” This poem was written in 1865 and accounts Whitman’s feeling of loss and mourning after Lincoln’s assassination. The poem symbolizes lilacs as Whitman’s memories of Lincoln and how his life and death is immortal because the lilacs bloom every spring. In the long elegiac poem Whitman expresses this immortality and the beauty in death when he writes, “ O ever-returning spring! trinity sure to me you bring;/Lilac blooming perennial, and…show more content…
Whitman uses repetition when he says “ O powerful, western, fallen star!/O shades of night! O moody, tearful night!/O great star disappear’d! O the black murk that hides the star!/O cruel hands that hold me powerless! O helpless soul of me!/O harsh surrounding cloud, that will not free my soul!” ( Whitman 7-11) Whitman uses repetition in this instance to emphasize the emotion that followed the disappearance of the great star, which is symbolizing for Lincoln’s assassination. Repetition also creates a sense of urgency and emotion in the text. Whitman uses repetition in many of his poems along with other literary
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