High Summer By John Hodgen Essay

867 Words Nov 29th, 2016 4 Pages
The poem High Summer by John Hodgen critiques the affect prominent poets have on the thinking of future generation and examines the validity of these critiques made on the subjects they write about. In this poem, John Hodgen describes, in a plain spoken and blunt way, Walt Whitman helping wounded Civil War veterans in a makeshift military hospital. He uses candid comparisons to prove his points and alliteration to improve the readability of his poem at the end. In order to understand poems, the reader must have a historical and cultural understanding of the subject manner. This allows the reader to fully enjoy and understand the meaning of the poem. This poem is no different. In order to understand High Summer, the reader must understand Walt Whitman’s role in the Civil War and his ideals as a writer in general. Walt Whitman was not an aggressive or violent man, he did not support slavery and he chose to not fight in the Civil War. He continued writing for the first few years of the war. He later spent time in military hospitals giving wounded veterans small gifts and listened to them as they were healing. In addition, he was a transcendentalist. He believed in the beauty and ability of all individuals. Once historical and cultural aspects of the poem are understood, the reader can move forward, examine the poem and come to understand its meaning. The rhetorical situation of the poem consists of a pragmatic narrator describing, directly to the reader, the experience of…

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