Walt Whitman's Elegy As A Poet Of The Nation

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Walt Whitman is generally known as a poet of American Democracy, of the Civil War in the country, of Modern Man, of love and sex, of Nature and Science, of Religion and Mysticism. Walt Whitman had both English and Dutch blood in his veins, his mother being the daughter of Major Cornelius Van Velsor, a Dutch, and his father being an Englishman. His father was farmer, house builder and free thinker with radical and democratic beliefs. His mother came of a Quaker family. The Quakers believed in ‘inner light’, complete freedom of conscience, and equality between man and woman, without caring even the least for the formal ceremonies of the Church. Whitman was deeply influenced by the radical and democratic views of his father and the Quakerism of …show more content…

The strongest of the tools elegy uses is its reliance on memories of those who are no more. Most of the poets who wrote elegies were evidently awed by the frailty of human beings and how the world completely forgets about the deceased at some point. And Walt Whitman, known as Poet of the Nation, has earned mastery over elegiac expression. Elegy is one of the richest literary forms because it has the capacity to hold emotions that deeply influence people. The strongest of the tools elegy uses is its reliance on memories of those who are no more. Walt Whitman has efficiently shown his inclination towards writing elegies. He was evidently awed by the frailty of human beings and how the world completely forgets about the deceased at some …show more content…

These he reworked with his notes into Memoranda During the War (1875-1876). In 1879 he gave his first oration entitled "Death of Lincoln," on Lincoln 's meaning to the nation. It included a dramatic account of the assassination at Ford 's Theatre. As a young man Whitman aspired to be an orator, and the Lincoln lecture helped fulfil this ambition. He gave the reading several times between 1879 and 1890, in Boston, Philadelphia, Camden, and New York--most memorably at Madison Square Theatre in April 1887.
The death of Abraham Lincoln had a profound impact on Walt Whitman and his writing. It is the subject of one of his most highly regarded and critically examined pieces, "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom 'd" (1865-1866) and one of his best-known poems, "O Captain! My Captain!" (1865-1866). Whitman also delivered (sporadically) annual public lectures commemorating Lincoln 's death beginning in April 1879. Although the two never met, Whitman and Lincoln, both deeply committed to the Union, remain intertwined in Whitman 's writing and in American

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