His song to Us (a critique of Walt Whitman's Song of Myself, quotes included)

Essay by katyseanCollege, UndergraduateA, January 2005

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His Song to Us

Walt Whitman changed the way poetry is viewed today by his use of free verse. He was one of the first poets to use this type of poetry, which does not use regular rhyme scheme and meter. Whitman was not appreciated or admired at first for using this type of writing. Even though he abandoned meter 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. Just a single section of this poem will contain all the elements listed. The dominant theme of this poem is Whitman's dedication to nature and animals. Every stanza in this poem is talking about either his love for animals or his involvement with nature.

One aspect of Whitman's character that any reader can admire is the way he uses free verse and doesn't adapt rhyme scheme and meter, which was the most popular style of writing during his time.

Whitman himself is the speaker of the poem and you can see this when he says, "It seems to me more than all the print I have read in my life" (236). This not only suggests that he is the speaker of the poem but it also shows the amount of reading he has done. The speaker uses clear images to describe a horse jockey when he says: "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 leg on the string-piece, His blue shirt exposes his ample neck and breast and loosens over his hip band" (225-227). I feel that these images suggest that black men are...