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Its all about Walt...

A close study of Walt Whitmans, I hear America singing

Find your category. Record your notes. Answer your buzz question from todays lesson.



Garreth and Raven Speaker: Knowing the historical context of the poem changes our understanding of the speakers attitude because we understand from what we researched is that in the 1800s , the life of an American was tough because what they had to do to secure their identity and the future for the generations after.

Buzz Question: In what way is this mood apt( accurate) for a poem written in the mid1800s? The mood is accurate for a poem written in the Mid- 1800s because in the 1800s the people of America had to work hard to secure their national identity. Also the people America in the 1800s lived humble lives and had humble jobs, but the still work very hard to survive.Also in the poem it describes the real life of an American in the 1800s.

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Stephan and Mollee DICTION (WORD CHOICE): The words are very simple and easy to understand. He is very clear in the way in which he explains things. He uses one metaphor and that singing is working. The overall feeling of the poem is about people following their simple lives and nothing really exciting. Its just an average life of a many people with different jobs. MEANING: Walt Whitman used the word singing a lot in the poem meaning people working. RHYTHM: There is no consistent rhythm or rhyme scheme. There are not a set amount of syllables per line so it does not follow a pattern. There is no musicality to it because there is no rhythm. Buzz Question: What are the speakers associations with daytime and with night? Its associations with day and night are alike because they are both busy because in the day people are working and in the night the young people go out and party and sing so both times of day are busy. The way that he blends day and night is that he talks about the work in the morning and how it ends intermission at noon, that is when night starts and when people go out.

Notes: During this time there were special jobs for men and other jobs that were suitable for women. This is seen in the poets pronoun and antecedent agreement.


CATEGORY 3: Imagery Rikkiya and Danny

1)Visual and Sensory: The images are literal, because they talk about real life situations. These images are more concrete rather than abstract, because they are not thoughts, and its existing in real life form. The sensory experiences that are evoked are mainly visual. Most of the images are repeated, because they are mostly about jobs and life. 2)Metaphor: There are no metaphors used. 3)Symbolism: The symbolic connection that is portrayed as the connection of having a job, and the joy full and lovely lives they have. What voices or songs would you add to this poem to make it more current? The voices or songs that I would add to this poem would be the song changes by 2pac, because it is a good song about racism. That is how it can be connected to the democratized imagery. To me a good singer or vocalist that I would like to hear produce a song would wither be Aretha Frankin or Whitney Huston, --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------CATEGORY 4: Luigi and Nia


The Poem is written in free verse meaning, there's no sequential or rhythmic pattern in the poem. The structure of the poem seems unique compared to other poems of the time or around that time. We believe that it contains very little resemblance to some of the major poem styles such as Sonnets, Haiku's, Sestinas or Ode. It may have been a new style of poetry to celebrate the freedom in the united states and or a new beginning.

Parallel Structure:
This poem also contains a parallel structure meaning that it uses the same pattern of words to shows that two or more ideas have the same level of importance. They are normally joined with the words and or or and most of the time used in a list. Examples:
Parallel Structure:

Nia likes swimming, diving, and sailing.

Not Parallel Structure:

Luigi likes swimming, milling and to listen to music.

Stanzas and Lines:

The first thing that we noticed about the lines and stanzas is that they are no the consistent the same length. The poem has a very irregular meter. An irregular meter creates an awkward or jarring rhythm to the listener to stop and consider the message behind the poem. In this poem it would be after every line of each workers as you visualize what it was like for that worker in 1800s. However this irregular meter could be different for everyone, and some people might not even experience it. We also noticed that this poem is a giant run on sentence although he did use commas at the end of some lines.

Rhyme and Scheme:

From reading the poem repeatedly we have found no other scheme or rhyme other than the ones that we previously stated. To our knowledge, there are very few words that rhyme with each other. The poem overall doesn't seem to flow, like other poems because of some of the choices in words such as, blithe. The theme of singing and the parallel structure where mostly every verb ended with an -ing.

Buzz Question: How does the poems form- free verse and parallel structures- support Whitmans ideas about work? We think that he is trying to promote many key idea through-out his free writing. Whitman uses a very irregular structure and rhythmic pattern than many poets and authors of his time. He could have used this form of poetry to celebrate the freedom of individuals and to celebrate the freedom enjoyed in the United states at that time. The new age of freedom might of also inspired Whitman to start his own form of poetry and to break off from the Classic European poems that were very common. The singing in the poetry also supports this idea of freedom and a new beginning. The singing represents the freedom and in the poems form Whitman uses the idea of freedom to break away from the classic normally used European styles of writing poetry Whitman also uses parallel structures to convey the feeling of an actual song, and give off a image of these people singing and doing these daily tasks such as their job everyday. We also noticed that Whitman does not say America has sung or is going to sing, but is singing and this parallel structure carries through through the whole poem. For example the girl sew(ing) and wash(ing), everyone sing(ing). We think that Whitman used parallel structure to try evoke us that these are ordinary people and they do this everyday for a living, to make their money, gain their freedom and to support their families.

Fact: The name Nia is not an actual name, that is why it has a red line beneath it. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------CATEGORY 5:


Justice and Mrs. J Enjambement is used in line 5. This to make the line flow smoothly and to keep the rhythm. Enjambement is used in line 8. The poet uses this to say that at noon everything is nice and calm, and time keeps moving. Enjambement is used in line 10. This is to make the line flow smoothly and emphasise the smooth action of washing and sewing. All the verbs Whitman uses are active verbs and they are happening at the exact moment. Whitman uses present tense verbs in his poem.

How does the punctuation of the poem feed its content? The punctuation of the poem is largely commas and periods. Commas keep the poem flowing and support Whitmans view of the American people as energetic and unceasing. The period cause the lines to stop - this supports Whitmans view of the people as committed and determined. What view of America is promoted? An optimistic view of America Promoted as a hard-working, unified society A place of justice and freedom (Democratised imagery) Even though the jobs of the people during that time were humble, they are still happy. America is promoted as a place of employment and opportunity. Life in America is an endless song (Rikkiya) How is the authors context reflected in this poem? His passion for his country is reflected through the people His belief in equality is reflected in the equal opportunities given to men and women His belief in the potential of the human spirit is reflected through the positive tone of the poem.