Get your essays here, 10,000 to choose from!

Limited Time Offer at MyTermPapers!!!

An Examination of Whitman's Use of Imagery

6 Pages 1456 Words December 2018

Imagery is a key component to all of Walt Whitman’s poetry. His ability to convey an impactful message to his readers, and enable them to think to see life in a new way all stems from his poem’s vivid imagery. His command over language made what he saw, a work of art. This paper will examine how Whitman employs imagery in his poems as a basis for his metaphors, and to make the reader interpret meaning, rather than just reading the words on a page.
Whitman’s poetry primarily focuses on the physical world around him, often observing nature and reflecting on it. Perhaps the best example of this can be seen in his 1892 poem, Song of Myself, where Whitman is approached by a child who asks, “What is the grass?”. Whitman takes the question and runs with it, showing every possible image that comes across his mind. He first supposes it to be the work of God, made so that mankind will gaze upon it and wonder who made it. Whitman says it could be, “A scented gift and remembrancer designedly dropped ”(Ferguson, Salter, & Stallworthy 2005 680). These words telegraph a deeper meaning that Whitman is trying to get across: the thought that the grass is a divine and designed object, put on Earth to remind mankind that everything and everyone has a purpose. It’s a pious glimpse into how the world around us can be perceived, a fascinating line that induces each reader to ponder the thought. He then wonders if the grass is a “uniform hieroglyphic,” a natural occurrence that sprouts in every corner of the continental United States (Ferguson, Salter, & Stallworthy 2005 680). He argues that grass could be something that fundamentally equates all human life to each other. The grass is tangible that binds us together and unites all people, deeming us all equal. This line is especially impactful during the time Whitman wrote this poem as well. The country was still mending the destruction from the civil war, and the country was still divided...

Page 1 of 6 Next >

Essays related to An Examination of Whitman\'s Use of Imagery