The Poetry of Civil War: Whitman and Melville

Walt Whitman and Herman Melville were both affected by the Civil War to such a degree that they each published a volume of poetry concerning the conflict. Although both men confront similar issues and feelings, particular in their poems about death, they do so through means as significantly different as each man’s Civil War experience. … Read more

Walt Whiteman: Understanding the holy world

When one considers the word ‘divine,’ the next word that comes to mind is not naturally ‘average.’ Something divine is holy, otherworldly, and godlike – the exact antithesis of something average. Why, then, in his poem “Starting from Paumanok,” does Walt Whitman combine these antonyms and proudly declare, “O, divine average!” (Whitman)? This divergence from … Read more

Crossing Brooklyn Ferry: Equality Through Differences

Walt Whitman’s “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry” is a poem that not only exposes the differences within the people and the geography of the nation, but also shows the theme of equality that unites these differences. Incorporating his experience with the Civil War as well as the industrial revolution of the United States, Whitman threads together the … Read more

Love for nature to create an illusion of untamed totality

Walt Whitman’s “Spontaneous Me” (Norton 2151-2152) crystallizes his attempt to create poems that appear natural, impulsive and untamed. The natural effect is a carefully crafted technique that appears throughout his writing, hinting at a philosophy of life while seeming to simply offer observation. As in “Song of Myself,” Whitman weaves together carefully chosen images to … Read more

The City He Loved: Whitman’s Manhattan

The birthplace of Walt Whitman, New York is where the poet spent much of his life and became the inspiration for much of Whitman’s poetry. Living in an era where mass industrialization and modernization began to change and shape the New York, Whitman wrote “Mannahatta” as an acknowledgement and acceptance of this shift to an … Read more

“I Hear America Singing” by Walt Whitman

The poem “I Hear America Singing” by Walt Whitman is written in first-person point of view. Whitman writes the poem from his viewpoint using the word “I”. Whitman, as the narrator, hears and observes the hard-working individuals of America as they live their lives, carrying out their everyday responsibilities. We see through the eyes of … Read more

Literary Analysis of Whitman’s Elegiac Poem

Walt Whitman’s “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d” is an elegiac poem in memory of Abraham Lincoln. The poem tracks the narrator waiting to lay a sprig of lilac on the president’s coffin, the physical journey that Lincoln’s coffin takes across the country, and, finally, a lone bird mourning far away from civilization. Specifically, … Read more

Exploring Latent Homoeroticism Theme in Whitman’s Song of Myself based on Section 11

Song of Myself is a poem of bold declarations that egotistically assert Walt Whitman’s place and purpose in the context of a world of immense scope and romantically instilled vigor. And yet located within this chaotic unfurling of identity there is one piece of the poem that stands out as a conspicuously reserved, reflective fragment. … Read more

“I Hear America Singing” by Walt Whitman

The poem “I Hear America Singing” by Walt Whitman is written in first-person point of view. Whitman writes the poem from his viewpoint using the word “I”. Whitman, as the narrator, hears and observes the hard-working individuals of America as they live their lives, carrying out their everyday responsibilities. We see through the eyes of … Read more

Exploring Latent Homoeroticism Theme in Whitman’s Song of Myself based on Section 11

Song of Myself is a poem of bold declarations that egotistically assert Walt Whitman’s place and purpose in the context of a world of immense scope and romantically instilled vigor. And yet located within this chaotic unfurling of identity there is one piece of the poem that stands out as a conspicuously reserved, reflective fragment. … Read more

The Complex Understanding of the Concept of Universe in Whitman’s Works

Walt Whitman’s poetry contains many basic elements that come together to characterize his own stance in 19th century social and political thought. An analysis of Whitman’s “Song of Myself” and “I Sing the Body Electric” specifically highlight Whitman’s concern with the human body. Through these poems, the human body is continually glorified and eroticized by … Read more

“The Wound-Dresser” and “Song of Myself”: Representation of Equality Question

Equality in “The Wound-Dresser” and “Song of Myself” The theme of equality permeates both “The Wound-Dresser” and “Song of Myself”. Whitman remarks upon judgments that others make and refutes them with his own ideas of impartiality. These manifest particularly strongly in Whitman’s attitude towards the bravery of soldiers in “The Wound-Dresser” and section 18 of … Read more

Edwards’ Personal Narrative and Whitman’s Song of Myself: Comparison of Two Perspectives on Religion

Upon reading Jonathan Edwards’ Personal Narrative, one would undoubtedly find that Edwards’ descriptions and expressions of his insurmountable love for God (and all things in relation to the Christian faith) are of an extreme degree uncommon to that of the ordinary believer. It is therefore justifiable to pinpoint one of the themes in Personal Narrative … Read more