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I Hear America Singing -Walt Whitman

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matthew hofman

on 20 March 2013

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Transcript of I Hear America Singing -Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman I Hear America Singing What does it mean? Analysis The poem is written in free verse, but expresses repetition through the word “singing”. Whitman creates wonderful imagery in the reader’s mind with the adjectives he uses. There is little question as to what each character is actually doing. The tone of the poem is thoughtful, positive, hopeful, optimistic, and accepting. Specific Lines to Take Note of... I HEAR America singing, the varied carols I hear;
Those 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; maker 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 the 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
her, and to none else;
The day what The day what belongs to the day—At night, the party of young
fellows, robust, friendly,
Singing, with open mouths, their strong melodious songs. I Hear America Singing Walt Whitman was a famous American Poet that lived in the 1800's and was often persecuted for his transcendental views and opinions.
Whitman was born on May 31, 1819 in Long Island, New York Let's start with the Author...
Quick Facts: Whitman was opposed to slavery Whitman developed an interest in reading and throughout his life, had many jobs:

-Whitman became a teacher when he was 17

-He was a professional Journalist

-He wrote Poetry!

-Whitman nursed the injured in the Civil War -The speaker appears to be a bystander that believes America is made of individuals and their “voices”. -The words “I hear America singing” serve as the poem’s metaphor. -A variety of Americans are described doing day-to-day tasks. These tasks are all a metaphorical “song” that each unique American is “singing”. -The people are America; while they all have different talents, abilities, and callings, all are crucial to the country’s wholeness. -Whitman alludes to the women’s place in the work force and in society by including the lines “the young wife at work” and “the girl sewing and washing”


This section of the poem also emphasizes that “parenting” is an “indispensable occupation”. Why is this important? In the 1800’s women were not appreciated or really acknowledged for their roles in society and their desire to have the same rights as men. Whitman acclaims them for their “vital contributions both in and outside the home”. More! The line in the poem concerning the ploughboy should also be brought into discussion, as there is a possibility that he could have been black or a slave. These two matters (women's role and slavery) display beliefs Whitman held that were controversial or frowned upon at the time in society. Whitman’s devotion to the military explains the patriotic inspiration Whitman displayed in “I Hear America Singing”. Whitman had little money and “struggled to support himself through most of his life” Poets.org also states that Whitman “spent any excess money, including gifts from friends, to buy supplies for the patients he nursed.
Whitman took pride in his country. In Conclusion,
America consists of its people, and each person is unique, essential, and necessary to the whole.
I chose this poem because it made me feel as if I had hope and a place in this world. It made me feel significant and gave me a moment’s assurance Works Cited Napierkowski, Marie R. Poetry For Students. Vol. 3. Detroit, New York, London: Gale, 1998. Print.

Prentice Hall Literature: The American Experience. N.p.: Pearson, n.d. Print.

"Walt Whitman." - Poets.org. Academy of American Poets, n.d. Web. 12 Mar. 2013. http://www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/126 MATTHEW HOFMAN ENGLISH III HONORS PERIOD 5 CARRUTH
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