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Transcript of Walt Whitman
Walt WhitmanWhen Lilacs Last in the Dooryard BloomdAbraham Lincoln and the Civil War Crafting the American Ideal andThesis In his poem When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloomd, Walt Whitman expresses his idealistic view of American patriotism and spirit through his symbolism of the lilac, star, and bird, and his celebration of Abraham Lincoln and the soldiers of the Civil War.
Walt WhitmanBorn May 31st, 1819, near Huntington, Long Island. Worked as a printer and editor from 1830 to 1861. Worked as a clerk and made frequent visits to hospitals during the duration of the Civil War. Issued Drum Taps and Sequel in September of 1865, which contained When LilacsBloomd. Whitman was disabled in 1873 from a paralytic stroke, and spent his last days on Mickle Street in Camden, NJ. Dies March 26, 1892, at 72, in Camden.
Portrait from an 1854 engraving by Samuel Hollyer
Honest Abe Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War Era Born February 12, 1809, in Kentucky.He led the Union in the Civil War, and is arguably considered the most compassionate and legendary president in U.S. history. He was assassinated on April 14th, 1865, by John Wilkes Booth.
Union hospitals during the Civil War
Abraham Lincoln(February 12, 1809 April 15, 1865)
Preserving the Union
Though Walt Whitman never got closer than the hospitals in Washington, D.C. to the fighting, his brother George served with the 51st New York for nearly four years. He was a sergeant major and a keen, insightful soldier, who kept clear, detailed war diaries. Despite being captured in 1864 at Poplar Grove Church, VA, George survived the war and unsuccessfully attempted to enlist in Regular Army antebellum. To Walt, George represented the epitome of patriotism and considered him an excellent example of a true American determined to preserve democracy.
Patriotism, George Whitman, and DemocracyGeorge Washington Whitman, Library of CongressWhen Lilacs Last in the Dooryard BloomdWritten in 1865, as a tribute to Abraham Lincoln after his assassination by John Wilkes Booth. Considered a great elegy on universal death and national healing, using the eternal images of lilac, star and thrush (Poet). Whitman had an intense admiration for the President, and his love for the leader of the Union inspired this elegy along with the more popular dirge known as O Captain, My Captain.
Evidence the great star drooped early in the western sky in the night (1.2) the star my departing comrade holds and detains me (9.5) lilac-bush tall-growing with heart-shaped leaves of rich green, / With many a pointed blossom rising delicate (2.2-3)I leave thee lilac with heart-shaped leaves (16.9) shy and hidden bird is warbling a song (4.2) voice of my spirit tallied the song of the bird (14.27)
Examples of SymbolismRed = key subjectBlue = Key descriptionsEvidence Comrades mine and I in the midst, and their memory ever to keep, for the dead I loved so well (16.19) large sweet soul that has gone (10.2) O powerful western fallen star! (2.1) I give you my sprig of lilac (6.13) a verse for him I love (14.21) My own Manhattan with spires, and the sparkling and hurrying tides (12.2)Examples of Celebratory LanguageRed = key subjectBlue = Key descriptionsWalt Whitman uses the vivid symbolism of the lilac, thrush, and the star to celebrate the American ideal as inspired by Abraham Lincoln and the patriots of the Civil War, who embody freedom, democracy, and the love of the Union. ConclusionHe was essentially a visionary, truly the man Ezra Pound called Americas poet. To me, he held the shining soul of America in his marvelous fingers wild, lusty, joyous, and alive, Whitman represents the original spirit of America. He wrote America and her children as they were supposed to be written: visionaries of freedom and democracy, with a deep love for all things alive.9Three Civil War Poems:Come Up From the Fields Father p15
- Calvary Crossing a Ford page 10- Bivouac on a Mountain Side page 10Here is its first poet. The life-throb of this gigantic melting pot of a nation-to-be is to be given its first genuine voice the sheer certainty of this voice can still astound us the passage of time has done nothing to dull it Such is the spell he casts on us that we feel tempted to say yes, to suspend disbelief in spite of ourselves and all the evidence Reading him is like meeting him. Philip Callow: Foreword to From Noon to Starry Night
His Beard Full of ButterfliesWise Words of WhitmanThis is what you shall do: Love the earth and sun and the animals, despite riches, give alms to everyone that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence towards the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown, or to any man or number of men go freely with powerful uneducated persons, and with the young, and with the mothers of families re-examine all you have been told in school or church or in any book, and dismiss whatever insults your own soul; and your very flesh shall be a great poem, and have the richest fluency, not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face, and between the lashes of your eyes, and in every motion and joint of your body. Walt Whitman From the Preface to Leaves of Grass, 1855Bibliography"'I Am Well and Hearty' - Walt Whitman's Brother in the Civil War."History Net Where History Comes Alive World US History Online I Am Well and Hearty Walt Whitmans Brother in the Civil War Comments. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Dec. 2012."Poet of the Nation.": Revising Himself: Walt Whitman and Leaves of Grass (American Treasures Exhibition, Library of Congress). N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Dec. 2012."President Abraham Lincoln Timeline16th President of the United States."Abraham Lincoln. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Dec. 2012."Walt Whitman."- Poets.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Dec. 2012."The Walt Whitman House on Mickle Street."The Walt Whitman House on Mickle Street. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Dec. 2012.