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Analysis and comments on Pioneers! O Pioneers! by Walt Whitman

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Comment 21 of 61, added on May 21st, 2010 at 3:05 PM.

this poem has probably nothing to do with space it is in the 1900's
obviously its supposed to mean the united state's pioneers. about the
exploration of the united state's. or as some like to call it manifest
destiny!!!. it could also referr to the civil war with all the refernces to
the war. Through the north and south at the begining and ending with the
westerner's at the end. "oh western youth's how plain i see you" hmm i
wonder what that means??? naw it just has no affiliation with the United

austin from United States
Comment 20 of 61, added on January 13th, 2010 at 9:08 PM.

Inspiring poem on all counts but this cannot be transcribed into the space
race. Space is a scientific arena of study and maybe-could-be's. It is
extremely expensive and inaccessible except to the old, fat cats who have
no desire or need to do anything further. Whereas the West during Whitman's
time was a wild expanse that Everyman could search for his own adventure
and successes. Interesting, inspiring, patriotic, yes. Applicable to today?
Maybe not?

Zach from United States
Comment 19 of 61, added on December 19th, 2009 at 9:17 AM.

I think this poem could be meant different ways by whitman but we may never
know.(unless he explained it specifically somewhere) I would say that it
does have tones of western imperialism and over patriotism but notice that
it never mentions anything about white people! I relate to it in a very
different fashion. I believe it is about the hope of youth and the
championing of the youth. It is a poem of hope and how hope can be battle
field. In our youthful tension there is a battle that must be fought for a
new age that must come about to progress humanity and since the youth is
always the coming generation we are responsible for battling for the
progression of humanity. We are the pioneers.

Ryan from United States
Comment 18 of 61, added on December 13th, 2009 at 7:38 PM.

There is still a place for Pioneers, it's called "Space". But, the USA
after standing on the precipice of this new adventure, blinked and backed
away. Shame on us! Maybe China will pick up the reins?

Doug Hendrix from United States
Comment 17 of 61, added on December 11th, 2009 at 6:18 AM.

Pioneers! O Pioneers! was written during the civil war when Americans were
very pessimistic and it was a bad time for just about everyone. But Whitman
was optimistic with his poetry and i see a paralell of those bad days with
todays situation and so yes you could say it literally was about Manifest
Destiny or a rallying cry, which it was. But i believe its purpose was to
bring hope, a proud feeling of who we are and our country, and motivation
to carry on and adapt just as Americans have always done. So in that
respect the poem is timeless.

Elliott from United States
Comment 16 of 61, added on December 3rd, 2009 at 9:39 PM.
Pioneers! O Pioneers!

I only know this poem from a Levi's jean commerical, but it is very

Chloe from United States
Comment 15 of 61, added on December 2nd, 2009 at 3:40 AM.
Pioneers! O Pioneers!

This poem is not about white male supremacy or intergenerational struggle.
It's about Manifest Destiny, the great Westward expansion of the
mid-to-late 1800s. When Whitman writes about youth, he refers to the young
nation, the United States. Elders refer to the countries that the new
Americans emigrated from. You have to remember that this poem was written
150 years ago, and to look at it with 21st Century attitudes and values
will completely change its meaning from what the author intended.

Catherine from United States
Comment 14 of 61, added on November 15th, 2009 at 3:42 AM.

I think "Pioneers! O Pioneers!" is about how the soul of America is the
regular people, not the fat cats, and that Americans are tough and never
give up, marching on to uphold their morals and liberties. It's like a
rallying cry to remind the people of that. We carry on the work of our
ancestors, carry on the work that those who become weary can no longer
bear. It's a shame that we have become so complacent, it usually takes
something catastrophic to shake us back into the strong America we started
out as and make us appreciate our liberties more.

Julie from United States
Comment 13 of 61, added on November 12th, 2009 at 9:56 PM.

I feel that it promotes white male supremacy and it's need to conquer, it's
hunger for more and more dragging in the "minstrels in their prairies" and
mothers/women as if there must be a fight led against our fellow men -

L.J. Smith from United States
Comment 12 of 61, added on November 10th, 2009 at 10:03 AM.

I think this poem is about the youth of America and how they are trying to
figure out ways in life. You know how they say that teens and children are
the future of America? Same thing with pioneers. They discover new things
that some people never even thought of. In other words, Walt Whitman is
saying that today's young people, teens, and children are the pioneers of
tomorrow. He actually points them out in one stanza:
"So impatient, full of action, full of manly pride and friendship"

Shane from United States

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Information about Pioneers! O Pioneers!

Poet: Walt Whitman
Poem: 2. Pioneers! O Pioneers!
Volume: Leaves of Grass
- 10. Marches Now the War is Over
Year: 1900
Added: Feb 7 2004
Viewed: 2783 times
Poem of the Day: Apr 29 2005

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