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I Hear America Singing

Poetry Explication and Expansion
by

Sarah Kukich

on 20 February 2013

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Transcript of I Hear America Singing

I Hear
America Singing Presented by Sarah Kukich
and Andrea Barrameda Technical Explication Making the Connections Outside Research Works Cited Questions or Assertions Understanding of the Poem
and Internal Mechanics Structural Analysis Importance Paraphrase Whitman's Wonderful Life Occupational Status His Great Works Understanding Walt Whitman Very First Collection:
Leaves of Grass
Dedicated this collection to the Civil War:
Drum-Taps
Later in Life:
Democratic Vistas
Passage to India At 17 he was a school teacher
At 22 he started the Long-Islander and became
the editor of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.
1848: began his "free soil" newspaper, Brookly
Freeman
Civil War: volunteered his time towards wounded soldiers
Later life: found steady work as a clerk at the Indian Bureau of the Department of the Interior. Allusion - Consider author's perspective
Consonance - "Strong melodious songs"
Diction - Mechanics "blithe and strong"
Extended Metaphor and Synecdoche - Each singer is part of the America Whitman hears
Imagery - The carpenter "as he measures his plank or beam", "the girl sewing or washing"
Repetition - Singing
Tone - Passive and reflective Allusion, metaphor, and synecdoche give deeper meaning to the reader

Consonance, repetition, and diction emphasize critical measures

Imagery provokes insight

Tone provides the reader with the opportunity to indulge themselves in the story The America heard recognizes the simple daily tasks and the common man who does them, not only for self benefit, but for the greater altruistic good. “Whitman took poetry out of the study and put it on the workbench. Infused with prosaic language and metric variation, his poetry lionized the worker, celebrated the self, sang the natural world, and rendered the mystical experience
in common terms.” "I Hear America Singing." Poetry for Students. Ed. Marie Rose Napierkowski and Mary Ruby. Vol. 3. Detroit: Gale, 1998. 151-165. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 18 Feb. 2013.

"Walt Whitman Biography." Web. 19 May 2013. <http://www.biography.com/people/walt-whitman-9530126?page=3>.

Whitman, Walt. “I Hear America Singing.” Literature. Ed. X.J. Kennedy, Dana Gioia. New York: Pearson, 2013. 882. Print. 1. Does Whitman value the common man’s contributions to society above the sophisticated, educated class? If so, does he consider himself a true patriot of common standing part of the American choir?
2. The narrator describes the nation singing but does so through the process of imagery. Is it less effective to depict sound through sight, or does this poem convey the choir Whitman intended his readers to hear? Whitman describes a harmonious America from his perspective as the listener. He hears strong mechanics, masons and carpenters at work, and the boatman in his element. He goes on to describe many other elements of the America he hears, concluding that each singer sings out of individual distinction. Born: May 31, 1819 in West Hills, New York
Died: March 26, 1892 in Camden
Lived: Long Island for most of his life
Family: From wealthy to just modest I Hear America Singing I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear,
hose of mechanics, each one singing his as it should be blithe and strong,
The carpenter singing his as he measures his plank or beam,
The mason singing his as he makes ready for work, or leaves off work,
The boatman singing what belongs to him in his boat, the deckhand
singing on the steamboat deck,
The shoemaker singing as he sits on his bench, the hatter singing as he stands,
The wood-cutter's song, the ploughboy's on his way in the morning, or
at noon intermission or at sundown,
The delicious singing of the mother, or of the young wife at work, or of
the girl sewing or washing,
Each singing what belongs to him or her and to none else,
The day what belongs to the day—at night the party of young fellows,
robust, friendly,
Singing with open mouths their strong melodious songs.
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