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Analysis and comments on I Hear America Singing. by Walt Whitman

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Comment 42 of 172, added on June 30th, 2005 at 1:18 AM.

I find it quite amusing that a large majority of the individuals leaving
such negative comments about one of the greatest American writers ever to
have lived are widely illiterate and look no deeper into the poem than what
they see on the surface. Many of you criticize how Whitman does not speak
of latinos, asians, or blacks. You just assume that he is speaking of white
people and only white people. In what part of his poem does he mention
race? It seems that you have personal issues and stereotypes of white
people as racist. If you had any knowledge of Walt Whitman, you would know
that he was in such grievance over the assassination of Abraham Lincoln
that he wrote two poems about his mourning. One of these is "O Captain! My
Captain!" Of course you would probably look at this poem and think to
yourself, "He is just talking about some white captain on a ship who dies."
So why would you even think for one second that Whitman advocated racism or
slavery when he was in support of abolition? Please type your comments in
Microsoft Word next time so that spell-check is in effect and you may
correct your errors so that you may not appear even more ignorant than you
already are. In addition, Walt Whitman lived in the 1800's, so one cannot
merely pass off this poem as unrealistic. Perhaps this is so by today's
standards, but at the time the poem was written it was very realistic.
Agriculture dominated the economy and industry was emerging as a player in
the market as well. Consequently, the people described in his poem all
perform physical labor. So, one should not question Whitman's lack of
reference to people with other occupations. Whitman is also describing the
American workforce and population as a whole. If he were to be so very
specific as to list every occupation that existed, I do not believe that
anyone would sit through an entire reading of his work. So once again I ask
of you, go to school, the library, the internet, anywhere, and educate
yourself on the subject matter so that you will have facts to support your
argument. Thank you.

Garrett from United States
Comment 41 of 172, added on June 11th, 2005 at 11:00 PM.

This poem was written in a time where America was going through many many
changes industrially, socially...I think the author just speak out his good
wish about amercan common people.

leo from China
Comment 40 of 172, added on May 25th, 2005 at 4:32 PM.

Walt Whitman, in this poem, may actually be trying to be sarcastic. At the
time the poem was written workers were being mistreated and the conditions
they worked under were terrifying. Maybe the workers singing is their hope
and the only time they can sing "with open mouths" is at night when they
are amongst other workers and can express themselves freely. Being heavily
connected with the democratic party, a huge concern for Whitman was human
rights as well as unity.

Jamie from United States
Comment 39 of 172, added on April 24th, 2005 at 2:11 PM.

I get confused on the different kind of literary devies these kind of poems
have...could anybody explain them to me please?

John from United States
Comment 38 of 172, added on April 22nd, 2005 at 11:36 PM.

I think that Walt Whitman was unrealistic in this poem as America was not
"free" for everyone during the time that this poem was written. Minorities
and women's rights were not heard during this time thus their "singing" was
silenced. Read Langston Hughes, "I, too, sing America" to fully understand
the feelings of the oppressed and discriminated.

Kiki from United States
Comment 37 of 172, added on April 21st, 2005 at 7:20 AM.

I Hear America Singing is a great poem and I think it says alot of
inspiring things. I like this poem because it talks about americas
workforce. I can relate to this poem aswell.

Edgar Andrade from United States
Comment 36 of 172, added on April 19th, 2005 at 8:01 PM.

I'm currently studying Walt Whitman and I am right now learning about this
poem (I'm a sixth grader). This is one of the few poems I like and
understand. Why do teachers make kids study poems?!?

Kira Nerrice from United States
Comment 35 of 172, added on April 12th, 2005 at 7:45 AM.

Well- The SINGING that is refered to here is a figurative song. They people
are not actually SINGING while they work. The song is the routine of their
work that is basically the work that is holding America up--keeping the
country moving. This poem was written in a time where our country was going
through many many changes industrially, socially, we were gearing up for
the civil war, and slavery was on the cusp of being abolished. This poem is
about the people in America, those who make the country what it is. Whitman
wrote for the common man. He glorified blue collar work as the support that
holds the country together. The common man- as he called it- was
essentially America. Whitman did not even publish his work using his name.
He wanted his stuff to be read by everyone of all social classes and

Jill from United States
Comment 34 of 172, added on March 23rd, 2005 at 10:54 PM.

To me this poem is less about a carefree society that is all joy and
singing. I think Whitman realized the problems in America also. This poem
is more about people finding satidfaction in their lives because it is
THEIR LIFE. No one elses. They are independent and that makes them free.
To be able to say that you worked for something, and it is yours, is a
great thing. Even if it is a low, honest working wage, or just the ability
to be comfortable with yourself.

Katie from United States
Comment 33 of 172, added on March 14th, 2005 at 9:27 PM.

Walt Whitman is a very patriotic poet. In his poem, he repeatedly used
"singing" as a symbolization of freedom and happiness in America. He also
described a very utopian society, a perfect place to dwell in.

natalie millon from United States

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Information about I Hear America Singing.

Poet: Walt Whitman
Poem: 4. I Hear America Singing.
Volume: Leaves of Grass
- 5. The Answerer
Year: 1900
Added: Feb 7 2004
Viewed: 44073 times
Poem of the Day: Feb 11 2012

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