2 Early Life Born on Long Island & raised in Brooklyn No formal education, but very well readSir Walter ScottShakespeareHomerDanteTrained to be a printerAlternated between printing and journalism
3 Became Editor of The Brooklyn Edge @ 27 Fired in 1848 because of his opposition to slaveryTraveled cross-country before going to work on a paper in New Orleansobserved the diversity of the American landscape and people“I Hear America Singing”1850: quit journalism to devote his energy to his writing
4 Whitman: The PoetHeavily influenced by Emerson’s vision of a “new kind of American poet”Writing broke every poetic tradition of rhyme and meterFree verseCelebrated America and the common man1855: 1st Edition of Leaves of GrassHighly criticizedWhittier (noted Fireside poet) threw his copy in the fireEmerson touted the collection as “the most extraordinary piece of wit and wisdom that America has yet contributed”
5 Leaves of Grass Whitman’s “life work” Continually revised, reshaped, and expanded the collection until his death in 1892Viewed the collection as a single long poem that expressed his evolving vision of the worldUsed his poetry to convey his beliefsDemocracyEqualitySpiritual unityPotential of the human spirit
6 Leaves of Grass 1st Edition: 1855 “Deathbed” Edition: 1892 12 unsigned and untitled poems“Deathbed” Edition: 1892383 poemsCaptures diversity of the American peopleConveys the energy and intensity of all types of life
7 Whitman: StyleEpic theme: all people of all times are connected by their shared experience of lifeFree Verse: poetry with irregular meter and line length; sounds like natural speech; does not follow strict rules or formulas**Whitman is the 1st American poet to write in free verse
8 Whitman: Style Long Lines Catalogues/Lists Anaphora: the repetition of phrases or sentences with similar structures or meaningsDiction: word choiceOnomatopoeia: words whose sound imitate their meaningYAWP!
10 1 Look at stanza 1, how does this stanza convey epic theme? What does Whitman mean in stanza 3 when he writes “My tongue, every atom of my blood, formed from this soil, this air”What attribute of Whitman’s writing/life is he referring to in the 4th stanza?Original energy = ___________?
11 6What does this section reveal about Whitman’s attitude about life and death?What is the connotation of each of the following words:OnwardOutwardLuckier
12 9 What is the overall tone of this section? What is the image that Whitman creates in this section?Why might he include this content in “Song of Myself”
13 14What aspects of life does this section celebrate?
14 17 What ideas are emphasized in this section? How does the structure of the stanza reinforce its message?
15 51 How is this section different than the others in this excerpt? What is the overall message of this section?What is the tone of the section?How does this section fit into the final edition of this collection?
16 52 Analyze the following lines: I too an not a bit tamed, I too am untranslatable,I sound my barbaric yawp over the rooftops of the world.I bequeath myself to the dirt to grow from the grass I loveFailing to fetch me at first keep encouraged,Missing me one place search another,I stop somewhere waiting for you.
17 Whitman’s Style “hunt” Find an example of each attribute of Walt Whitman’s style. Write the attribute this line illustrates, the poem section, and the line from the text.
19 Analysis Questions What do the “varied carols” represent? Identify two aspects of Whitman’s style that are most evident in this poem.How do we see epic theme in this piece?What types of people does Whitman include in the poem (List them! There are 12.)What image of America does Whitman portray in this poem?In the final lines Whitman makes a distinction between the day and the night. Analyze these final lines.
20 Group Writing Assignment Presumably after his trip cross-country, Whitman writes “I Hear America Singing” to illustrates the diversity and drive of the American people.In your small groups, write an imitation of Whitman’s piece about UHS. Utilize similar stylistic elements in your writing.Your Title: “We Hear UHS Singing”