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Why is much of Drum-Taps from a Soldier’s View?

I’m having trouble reconciling Whitman’s desire to portray the war honestly and his poems that are set in the midst of battle. I suppose it is a naïve assumption, but, before Drum-Taps, I felt that the voice in Whitman’s poetry was his own. In Drum-Taps, however, this is obviously not the case, as Whitman never […] […]

Day and Night in Drum-Taps

In my first readthrough of Drum-Taps, I noticed numerous poems using the image of the moon so I thought I’d go back through with an eye on nighttime in Drum-Taps. The first poems in the cycle, notably “First O Songs for a Prelude” and, obviously, “Song of the Banner at Daybreak”, are set at daybreak. […] […]

Sarah for Oct 6

The progression of the War, and Walt Whitman’s changing perception of it, is clearly depicted in Drum-Taps. The first several poems in the series are about the glory of the war to come, invoking the memories of an old Revolutionary War veteran even. “Song of the Banner at Daybreak” exemplifies this section, with the different […] […]

Meghan for October 6

When we talk the periods of Whitman’s writing (or even every individual edition), Isometimes feel as if we’re talking about a different person, or at least something vaguely schizophrenic. Whitman goes through so much in the war; he goes from being the man who feels all and yet has done very little (in terms of […] […]