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WALT WHITMAN 1819-1892.

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Presentation on theme: "WALT WHITMAN 1819-1892."— Presentation transcript:


2 Major Work Leaves of Grass Published 1st edition in 1855
Little or no interest from literary community until Whitman sent a copy to Ralph Waldo Emerson Revised and republished 9 times Last edition published in 1891 (one year before Whitman’s death)

3 Leaves of Grass Whitman was the first American poet NOT to emulate European poets Early influences Sir Walter Scott Italian Opera Shakespeare Bible Epic poems of Greeks (The Iliad, The Odyssey)

4 Leaves of Grass Whitman considered this collection of poems an EPIC POEM Epic: a long narrative poem which recounts the deeds of a heroic character who embodies the values of a particular society. WHO IS THE HERO OF LEAVES OF GRASS? The poet, as an American “Everyman” Saw himself as a model for all Americans Looked toward and embraced the progress of the future rather than the past WHAT IS THE JOURNEY OF THE HERO? The journey of the American experience--LIFE

Chapter 1: Song of Myself Speaker is a solitary individual “I celebrate myself and sing myself” Final Chapter in 9th edition: Gathered Leaves Speaker has become identified with every element in the universe, and in death, will be reborn as something divine “NOW, dearest comrade, lift me to your face, We must separate awhile—Here! take from my lips this kiss. Whoever you are, I give it especially to you; So long!—And I hope we shall meet again.”

6 Leaves of Grass Themes in Leaves of Grass
America/The American Experience America’s diversity “I Hear America Singing”, Children of Adam America’s Pain Drumtaps, Ashes of Soldiers, President Lincoln’s Burial Hymn America’s growth Song of Myself

7 Leaves of Grass THEMES (cont) Immortality of the soul
The love of comrades Equality of all people Beauty of death Sacredness of the self and individual

8 Leaves of Grass Literary Devices used by Whitman
Free Verse: Poetry that is written without regard for rhyme or meter Imagery: visual, auditory, tactile, olfactory Catalog: long lists of related things people or events Anaphora/parallel structure: repetition of the same or similar words, phrases, clauses or sentences Alliteration, onomatopoeia, assonance, consonance Cadence: the natural, rhythmic rise and fall of language as it is normally spoken Ignores meter and relies on the poet’s own sense of spacing and timing

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