write a short 3–4-page essay
What is your response to the poem’s argument or main claim, and what reasons would give to support/illustrate your response?
What do you think is the strongest point or claim the poem makes? Identify and paraphrase the specific passage where this point or claim appears.
Does the poem acknowledge readers who might disagree with the argument/claim or challenge it? Refer to specific lines.
Note your poem’s specific word choices – do words repeat or have definitions that change throughout the poem? Do word choices tend to be specific and concrete? Vague and abstract? Or some combination of both?
I Hear America SinginG
BY WALT WHITMAN
I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear,
Those of mechanics, each one singing his as it should be blithe and strong,
The carpenter singing his as he measures his plank or beam,
The mason singing his as he makes ready for work, or leaves off work,
The boatman singing what belongs to him in his boat, the deckhand singing on the steamboat deck,
The shoemaker singing as he sits on his bench, the hatter singing as he stands,
The wood-cutter’s song, the ploughboy’s on his way in the morning, or at noon intermission or at sundown,
The delicious singing of the mother, or of the young wife at work, or of the girl sewing or washing,
Each singing what belongs to him or her and to none else,
The day what belongs to the day—at night the party of young fellows, robust, friendly,
Singing with open mouths their strong melodious songs.