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Walt Whitman's Song Of Myself Broken Down Into The Elements Of Character, Imagery, Language, Theme, Tone, And Form.

672 words - 3 pages

Walt Whitman changed the way poetry is viewed today byhis use of free verse. He was one of the first poets to usethis type of poetry which does not use regular rhyme schemeand meter. Whitman was not appreciated or admired at firstfor using this type of writing. Even though he abandonedmeter and rhyme schemes, he still used many poetic elements,such as character, imagery, language, theme, tone, and form.One poem that displays these elements is Song of Myself fromhis collection of poems called Leaves of Grass. Just asingle section of this poem will contain all the elementslisted.One aspect of Whitman's character I like most is theway he uses free verse and doesn't adapt rhyme scheme andmeter, which was the most popular style of writing duringhis time. It seems to me that Whitman himself is the speakerof the poem and I could tell this when he says "It seems tome more than all the print I have read in my life" (236).This not only suggests that he is the speaker of the poembut it also shows the amount of reading he has done. Thespeaker uses clear images to describe a horse jockey when hesays:The negro holds firmly the reins of his horse,the block swags underneath on its tied-over-chain,The negro that drives the long dray of the stone-yard, steady and tall he stands pois'd on one legon the string-piece, His blue shirt exposes hisample neck and breast and loosens over hiship band (225-227).I feel that these images suggest that black men are equal towhite men because a horse jockey is somewhat considered anoble sport and at the time Whitman wrote this, slavery wasstill around in the United States.Through Whitman's diction, his affiliation with natureis established. This is shown when he says, "My tread scaresthe wood-drake and wood-duck on my distant and day-longramble,/ They rise together, they slowly circle around"(237-238). This means that Whitman is possibly in his car ortruck and he yells something and this scares the birds away.The birds seem to be waiting...

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