Walt Whitman's "I Hear America Singing

 Walt Whitman's "I Hear America Singing"

 The poet here visualizes America as a construct that can be heard. Its indelible presence can be discerned through the song it delivers. It is singular for the unison that it represents. Through the voice of America, the poet hears the varied carols that stand for the different states of America. America
is the song and the various carols are the stars that it encompasses in its flag. The lines of the poem can be compared to Sarojini Naidu’s “Bird Sanctuary” where various birds in the sanctuary herald the festival at dawn in harmony. The Sanctuary at once symbolizes India and the people from different walks of life heralding the Dawn of Independence.
Here also, Walt Whitman asserts how as each one merged into unison, he also possessed an individuality of his own pronounced with all the technicalities. They sang in an all cordial-mood:
” Those of mechanics—each one singing his, as it should be, blithe and strong; “
The poet brings together people from all aspects of life together to underline the ‘unity in diversity’. He starts with the person who builds the very base-the mason. He sings his song as he gets ready for work. This highlights how this ‘song’ representative of America has become a way of life for the people. The boatman sings of what belongs to him and his boat; and the deckhand sings on the steamboat deck of what is not his. The deckhand is a member of the ship crew who performs menial labour. Therefore, through this single line, the poet Walt Whitman emblematizes the capitalist class through the boatman who owns his own boat; and the deckman who stands for the labour class.
The shoemaker sings sitting, as he is engaged in the trivialities of life. The hatter is singing as he stands. The singing process takes place irrespective of the positions one assumes. Here the positions ‘sit’, ’stand’.etc. act as metaphors for the same. Note that the poet makes use of the present continuous tense to denote the continuity of the process. The use of free verse also signifies continuity.
The wood-cutter’s song—the ploughboy’s, on his way in the morning, or at the noon intermission, or at sundown;
The song is devoid of age-barriers that engages the ploughboy and the woodcutter in the same frame. It is also not bound by time constraints as it flows through morning, noon or dawn. It is also not far from domesticity and family roles as the mother experiences it as much as a young wife does. The girl sewing or washing sings as though the act of singing belongs to her and no one else.”—Each singing what belongs to her, and to none else.“ The metaphor of the song is indeed significant as it requires rhythm, balance and flow. At the end: the song is portrayed as that part of America-the Generation Next.They are filled with vitality, vivacity and vigor: a pointer to tomorrow:
The day what belongs to the day—At night, the party of young fellows, robust, friendly, Singing, with open mouths, their strong melodious songs.
Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman“I Hear America Singing”The poet hears the “varied carols” of all the people who contribute to the life and culture of America. The mechanic, the carpenter, the mason, the boatman, the shoemaker, and the woodcutter all join in the chorus of the nation. The singing of the mother, the wife, and the girl at work expresses their joy and their feeling of fruition. These are highly individualistic men and women. Each person sings “what belongs to him or her and to none else.”
This poem underscores Whitman’s basic attitude toward America, which is part of his ideal of human life. The American nation has based its faith on the creativeness of labor, which Whitman glorifies in this poem. The catalog of craftsmen covers not only the length and breadth of the American continent but also the large and varied field of American achievement. This poem expresses Whitman’s love of America—its vitality, variety, and the massive achievement which is the outcome of the creative endeavor of all its people. It also illustrates Whitman’s technique of using catalogs consisting of a list of people.
In the poem "I Hear America Singing" by Walt Whitman, the reader envisions a country of people working for the greater good of mankind. These people come together as part of the whole society developing industry and production. Each person has a different occupation, but each http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Special:Wysiwyg?tid=wysiwyg# is important to the bigger picture. The bigger picture and theme being that of a country in which everyone is working together to create a successful and harmonious civilization.
When the title of the poem is first read, you imagine that America as a country is singing. But Whitman does not mean that at all. Beyond the literal, he means that all of the people of America working in their different occupations don't actually sing the same song, but by coming together with their work, and working together for the whole of the country, these people are creating and developing the industry of America. To Whitman, this is like everyone is singing together in a http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Special:Wysiwyg?tid=wysiwyg# song.
Whitman also uses nouns that denote labor and industry such as: mechanics, mason, work, deckhand, shoemaker, hatter, woodcutter, ploughboy, and mother. These words conjure images of the working class society. This is the majority of Americans. These people are the ones contributing to America with their productive labor.
The mechanics keep the engines of the cars, boats, and machines in factories running operatively. The mason, deckhand, shoemaker, hatter, woodcutter, and ploughboy each play a vital role in their occupation. Each person is important to society. Each person is needed for the various trades that make the country run smoothly. Without a skilled person in every job needed, the other fields may suffer. Whitman is expressing that each person is important.
The verbs used in this poem are deliberate and indicates action, keeping the poem moving in such a pace that the reader is compelled to feel as if he or she is going through the workday with each laborer. Verbs such as measures, makes, sits, stands, sewing, and washing invokes moving pictures of people performing their different
http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Special:Wysiwyg?tid=wysiwyg# and each of the actions they take during their day. Phrases such as "blithe and strong," "delicious singing," and "strong, melodious songs" appeals to the imagination with the strength of men intermingled with the beauty of song. Whitman is articulating his view of America as a group of strong people, both men and women, yet both of these groups are beautiful for the work they perform.
Whitman's attitude toward Americans is uplifting and positive. He exalts Americans and the hard labor they perform and sees it as a promising land where each person is unique, but united "Each singing what belongs to [her] and to none else" ( line 8). Whitman praises the work
http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Special:Wysiwyg?tid=wysiwyg# and ethics of the American people. He depicts a country of people who work hard, yet through the hard work, they enjoy the fruits of their labors "The day what belongs to the day At night, the party of young fellows, robust, friendly" ( line 9 ). Read more: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Does_the_poem_i_hear_America_singing_represent_a_particular_ form#ixzz1mtk1Q6Js

I Hear America Singing Walt Whitman

I Hear America Singing Walt Whitman (1819–1892).  Leaves of Grass.  1900
I HEAR America singing, the varied carols I hear;

Those of mechanics—each one singing his, as it should be, blithe and strong;

The carpenter singing his, as he measures his plank or beam,

The mason singing his, as he makes ready for work, or leaves off work;

The boatman singing what belongs to him in his boat—the deckhand singing on the steamboat deck;
The shoemaker singing as he sits on his bench—the hatter singing as he stands;

The wood-cutter’s song—the ploughboy’s, on his way in the morning, or at the noon intermission, or at sundown;

The delicious singing of the mother—or of the young wife at work—or of the girl sewing or washing—Each singing what belongs to her, and to none else;

The day what belongs to the day—At night, the party of young fellows, robust, friendly,

Singing, with open mouths, their strong melodious songs.

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