Presentation on theme: "By Walt Whitman. FIRST O SONGS FOR A PRELUDE. Lily Ramirez-Rodriguez #17."— Presentation transcript:
By Walt Whitman. FIRST O SONGS FOR A PRELUDE. Lily Ramirez-Rodriguez #17
First O songs for a prelude, Lightly strike on the stretch'd tympanum pride and joy in my city, How she led the rest to arms, how she gave the cue, How at once with lithe limbs unwaiting a moment she sprang, (O superb! O Manhattan, my own, my peerless! O strongest you in the hour of danger, in crisis! O truer than steel!) How you sprang—how you threw off the costumes of peace with indifferent hand, How your soft opera-music changed, and the drum and fife were heard in their stead, How you led to the war, (that shall serve for our prelude, songs of soldiers,) How Manhattan drum-taps led. Forty years had I in my city seen soldiers parading, Forty years as a pageant, still unawares the lady of this teeming and turbulent city, Sleepless amid her ships, her houses, her incalculable wealth, With her million children around her, suddenly, At dead of night, at news from the south, Incens'd struck with clinch'd hand the pavement. A shock electric, the night sustain'd it, Till with ominous hum our hive at daybreak pour'd out its myriads. From the houses then and the workshops, and through all the doorways, Leapt they tumultuous, and lo! Manhattan arming. To the drum-taps prompt, The young men falling in and arming, The mechanics arming, (the trowel, the jack-plane, the blacksmith's hammer, tost aside with precipitation,)
The lawyer leaving his office and arming, the judge leaving the court, The driver deserting his wagon in the street, jumping down, throwing the reins abruptly down on the horses' backs, The salesman leaving the store, the boss, book-keeper, porter, all leaving; Squads gather everywhere by common consent and arm, The new recruits, even boys, the old men show them how to wear their accoutrements, they buckle the straps carefully, Outdoors arming, indoors arming, the flash of the musketbarrels, The white tents cluster in camps, the arm'd sentries around, the sunrise cannon and again at sunset, Arm'd regiments arrive every day, pass through the city, and embark from the wharves, (How good they look as they tramp down to the river, sweaty, with their guns on their shoulders! How I love them! how I could hug them, with their brown faces and their clothes and knapsacks cover'd with dust!) The blood of the city up—arm'd! arm'd! the cry everywhere, The flags flung out from the steeples of churches and from all the public buildings and stores, The tearful parting, the mother kisses her son, the son kisses his mother, (Loth is the mother to part, yet not a word does she speak to detain him,) The tumultuous escort, the ranks of policemen preceding, clearing the way, The unpent enthusiasm, the wild cheers of the crowd for their favorites, The artillery, the silent cannons bright as gold, drawn along, rumble lightly over the stones, (Silent cannons, soon to cease your silence, Soon unlimber'd to begin the red business;)
All the mutter of preparation, all the determin'd arming, The hospital service, the lint, bandages and medicines, The women volunteering for nurses, the work begun for in earnest, no mere parade now; War! an arm'd race is advancing! the welcome for battle, no turning away; War! be it weeks, months, or years, an arm'd race is advancing to welcome it. Mannahattan a-march—and it's O to sing it well! It's O for a manly life in the camp. And the sturdy artillery, The guns bright as gold, the work for giants, to serve well the guns, Unlimber them! (no more as the past forty years for salutes for courtesies merely, Put in something now besides powder and wadding.) And you lady of ships, you Mannahattan, Old matron of this proud, friendly, turbulent city, Often in peace and wealth you were pensive or covertly frown'd amid all your children, But now you smile with joy exulting old Mannahattan.
What is it about? In this poem the author describes how Manhattan, the city where he lives, changed during the War. He describes the city with emotions. In lines 3-5 he says how the city is stronger than steel in leading it’s citizens to war. In the closing of the poem the author explains how the city seems to “smile with joy” as her citizens go off to the war. You can see how the war affected the author and his city. The author describes how everything changed and how hard it was.
This poem describes everything about the things that are happening in the city as the men are leaving for war. It shows how it is to be in these cities and how everyone feels when the men leave for war. There is sadness and joy, sadness when the families separate and joy because all the citizens know that they are off to do the right thing and end slavery. What is it about?
In line 6 it says how everyone “threw off the costumes of peace”. In other words all the men changed from wearing their work clothes and regular clothes and put on soldier’s uniforms. Line 7 explains how even the music in the city changed, no more was there opera music, just the drums and fifes leading soldiers to war. How did everything change?
How were the men affected? Everyone in the city was affected by the war. The author describes in lines how men of all kinds, rich, poor, colored and white left what they were doing and went off to war. He talks about mechanics, blacksmiths, lawyers, judges, salesmen, drivers, bosses, bookkeepers, porters, all leaving. Age did not matter since lots of boys and very young men were in the war along side old men as the author writes in line 25 how the old men are showing the boys how to wear their uniforms.
How were the women affected? Women were affected in various ways. They had to see their sons and husbands leave their side and go to war. This made them feel alone and sad, but also proud. Women’s lives also changed since they had to volunteer as nurses to help all the wounded soldiers. The author explains how: “…the work begun for in earnest, no mere parade now.”. Which means that the women’s volunteering was now that much more important than it usually was since now they were working to save the lives of their men.
Emotions felt in the poem. In line 33 the author shows the emotions of the citizens when he describes how mothers kiss their sons goodbye as they go off to war. He explains how hard this is when he says: “loth is the mother to part yet not a word does she speak to detain him.”. In other words the mother hates to part with her son and see go off to danger in the war, but she does not try to stop him since she knows this is what must be done.
What I think. I think that it must have been difficult to live in these times because so many things were happening that would have changed almost everything about your daily life. The author of this poem did a very good job with the description and the writing. He makes you feel the feelings of the citizens of Manhattan during this time. You can understand how difficult it might have been to see your family separated and placed in danger because of the war. I liked the detailed way that he described everything including, how sad the mother was to see her son leave, how all the men left their jobs, how the women knew they had to help out by volunteering as nurses and how you almost feel how the whole city changed and how it felt as all of this was going on.
Bibliography. Drum Taps. Release Date: September, 2005 [EBook #8801] This file was first posted on August 10, 2003 Last updated: May 2, h.htm#link2H_4_0002. Author: Walt Whitman. 3/18/2014. Union Poetry. 3/18/2014.http://www.civilwarpoetry.org/union/index.html About.com. Classic Literature firstosong.htm. 3/19/2014http://classiclit.about.com/library/bl-etexts/wwhitman/bl-ww- firstosong.htm Price, Angle. “Whitman’s Drum Taps and Washington’s Civil War Hospitals. “The Capitol Project. 20 November 2012