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Walt Whitman Essay

884 words - 4 pages

In Walt Whitman's pastoral elegy, "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd", he successfully depicts how nature and citizens mourn Abraham Lincoln's death after his assassination in 1865. He flawlessly incorporates numerous poetic devices and methodically places them throughout his literary work. One of the poetic devices that he continues to use is parallelism. Walt Whitman's inclusion of parallelism contributes to the successful style of the poem by adding to the lyrical flow, creating emphasis, and introducing descriptive details.
Whitman believes that poetry should be expressed through speaking instead of writing; therefore, he frequently uses parallelism to integrate a melodious and ...view middle of the document...

.." (110-111). He repeats the words "In the" in order to lead us to details that emphasize the "heavenly aerial beauty" of his land. Shortly after, he emphasizes how busy and prosperous the surrounding world is: "And the summer approaching with richness, and the fields all busy with labor, And the infinite separate houses, how they all went on, each with its meals and minutia of daily usages..." (114-116) The incorporation of such as "richness", "busy with labor", and "infinite" creates the idea of a flourishing and lively society.
Lastly, Walt Whitman uses repetition to introduce vivid sensory details that create imagery. In the beginning of "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd", Whitman eloquently describes the scene of lamenting citizens with the use of parallelism, followed by illustrative details: "With...the cities draped in black, With...crape-veil'd women standing, With processions long and winding...With the countless torches lit, with silent sea of faces...With...the arriving coffin, and the somber faces...with the thousand voices rising strong and solemn..." (35-40). Through his use of repetition of "with" and inclusion of words that relate to mourning, we can imagine the scene of citizens grieving over the death of their President. At the beginning of stanza eight, he mentions, "As I walk'd in silence the transparent shadowy night, As I saw you had something to tell as you bent to me night after night, As you droop'd from the sky low down as if to my side..." (57-59). Each new line begins with either "as you" or "as I" and is quickly followed with descriptions such as "silence",...

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