Leaves of Grass 1
Leaves of Grass is a poetry collection by the American poet Walt Whitman (1819–1892). Though the first edition was published in 1855, Whitman spent his entire life writing and re-writing Leaves of Grass, revising it in several editions until his death. This resulted in vastly different editions over four decades—the first a small book of twelve poems and the last a compilation of over 400 poems. The poems of Leaves of Grass are loosely connected and each represents Whitman's celebration of his philosophy of life and humanity. (From Wikipedia)
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"Leaves of Grass" Homework 1
To find out more about how Whitman revolutionized the world of poetry watch this video: (This annotation contains a video)
"Passion, pulse, and power" exemplify which of the following literary devices?
When writers break the rules of grammar and/or spelling, they are using a literary device called "poetic license." What grammar convention is Whitman breaking here?
What motif is carried through from the previous poem (As I Ponder'd in Silence) into this poem?
Whitman was interested in cataloguing the new America he saw growing around him.
Notice what builds from poem to poem; Whitman's last poem was entitled "To a Historian" and now he talks of "Thee Old Cause." He is undermining history progressively, making way for a new way… a new way of writing and thinking. Notice that even the word "thee" has an outdated feel to it, a tone we do not hear in Whitman's work.
"Eidolons" sets the tone and theme of the entire work. An eidolon is the perfect form of an idea, a Platonic notion of reality in philosophy. Whitman meets a wise person on the road and this meeting becomes a catalyst for the awakening of mind and spirit that frames the rest of the book. The seer calls on Whitman to put aside the learning of this world and, instead, focus on shedding light for all. This light is eidolons. They are the higher ideas that one can grasp for, a type of enlightenment.
Anaphora is a literary device Whitman uses over and over in "Leaves of Grass". To learn more watch this video: (This annotation contains a video)
Which word exemplifies the literary device anaphora in stanzas three and four of "Eidolons"?
In the poem "For Him I Sing," Whitman is using personification to refer to something non-human. What does "him" refer to?
How is the tone of the poem "When I Read the Book" different from the other poems so far?
What literary device does the phrase "dear and dreadful" make use of?
Leaves of Grass HW 1 Quiz