Final Essay

952 words - 4 pages

After careful consideration, I elected to write my final paper on the works of author, Walt Whitman. The reason I selected this author is because I have travelled to the Atlantic coast and driven over the Walt Whitman Bridge numerous times, never knowing who he was, or what he did. When I saw his name in the textbook, I was intrigued. I decided I wanted to educate myself and analyze his work. The first poem I studied by him was “Beat! Beat! Drums!”. In this poem he speaks of bugles and drums, and the sounds that originate from them. In the first paragraph, he states “Through the windows-through doors-burst like a ruthless force, Into the solemn church, and scatter the congregation, ...view middle of the document...

The third and final poem I chose to analyze was “O Captain! My Captain!” (Whitman, 645). In this poem he again uses repetition by saying the phrase “fallen cold and dead” (Whitman, 645). I interpret this to be used to express the loss of the captain, and how deeply it affected him. In each of these 3 poems, Walt Whitman uses repetition to create rhythm. He also writes in free verse, as his lines follow no consistent meter (Kennedy, 2012). All three of these poems seem to be connected to people who made America the way it is today, with the freedom and liberty we currently have. In the first poem, he speaks of men going off to the war, presumably the Civil war. In the second poem he speaks of skilled laborers whose work required physical labor, to which we were spared from completing on our own. The third and final poem spoke of a Captain who was dearly admired, who lost his life fighting for our freedom.

Walt Whitman also writes with alliteration. He does this by using the same Civil War Era theme in each of these poems, and incorporating the repetition such as the word “The” in the beginning of each line in the poem “I Hear America Singing” (Whitman, 644)., using the phrase “fallen cold and dead” (Whitman, 645), and “Beat! Beat! Drums!” throughout the self-titled poem. (Whitman, 396). I am inclined to believe that the Civil War Era had a tremendous impact on Walt Whitman as his poems are centered on that theme. The imagery portrayed in each of these poems really puts a clear picture in your head as you are reading. For example, in “I Hear America Singing” he goes into great detail by describing each of the actions the laborers are doing as they are singing. This encourages...

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