Analysis Of The Poem ' Whitman 's Death Essay example

1247 Words Dec 4th, 2015 5 Pages
Then, just when Whitman thought his luck had turned and Leaves of Grass started selling well, his publisher went bankrupt and someone stole the printing plates of the third edition. That printer is believed to have pirated 100,000 copies of the book (“Walt Whitman”, 1998). Indeed, Whitman’s poetry did not gain much fame until after his death, but towards the end of his life he gained recognition in Europe (“Walt Whitman”, 2002). Nevertheless, “in the years following Whitman’s death, Leaves of Grass has become one of the most highly regarded collections of poetry ever written. Millions of readers have enjoyed the book, and it has influenced several generations of poets” (Koelsch, Nelson, and Berliner 396). One poem added to Leaves of Grass through the years is “Beat! Beat! Drums!” It was written in response to the Confederate victory in the battle of Bull Run (Koelsch, Nelson, and Berliner 404). The poem is about drums and bugles sounding through a town, disturbing the lives of the townspeople (Koelsch, Nelson, and Berliner 404). In early American history, drums and bugles would signal the beginning of each battle (Gundersen, “Beat!”). The poem is an allegory for the disruptive nature of war and specifically the effects of the Civil War in America. Just as the drums and bugles literally sound “through the windows - through the doors - burst like a ruthless force,” just as war disrupts everyday life. In the third and last stanza, the drums and bugles grow more and more…

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