By The Bivouac's Fitful Flame Poem Summary

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In Walt Whitman’s “By the Bivouac’s Fitful Flame” we see the poem being narrated from the perspective of a soldier in war who is settled on the floor as a procession winds around him. This soldier has experienced horrifying events from the battles and has lost many things because of it; nevertheless he continues the fight and soothes himself with thoughts of his loved. Whitman uses the word procession three different times in this poem and they all refer to the same type of procession because of the homogeneous terms he uses to describe each, because of the events he describes around him and his reference to the procession as thoughts. They all refer to the same procession because of the almost identical terms he uses to describe each. The…show more content…
We can see this because in the poem he says “A procession unwinding around me…-but first I note, the tents of the sleeping army…” This tells us that the army was already asleep, so the procession couldn’t have actually been of actual soldiers due to the fact that they were all inactive. Now our only option left of what could be winding around him could be his thoughts, because he was the only one awake. At last, he refers to the same types of procession because the poem refers to them as thoughts in the seventh line “while winding in procession of thoughts…” So we can see that he is immersed in these thoughts about his close friends and loved ones and he says this procession of thoughts happens while he is sitting on the ground, watching his surroundings. If we connect the adjectives I talked about earlier with this line of thought we can see how it creates a bridge that ties up the ideas and makes the procession seem of one type, a procession of ideas. To summarize, the whole image of this poem is that of a soldier lying on the floor as he is immersed in a procession of thoughts only, not any other type of procession. We know this because of the almost identical terms he uses to describe the procession, the events he describes around him and because of his reference to these winding of
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