walt whitmanA World of PoliticsThesis: Walt Whitman was a man who used his thoughts on political issues concerning the Civil War within his writings because of many experiences he had encountered. Whenever ever the term "political writing" comes up, most people would think of Walt Whitman. Walt Whitman was one of the most popular political writers of all times. "Nearly everyone agrees that Walt Whiman is America s greatest poet" (Unger 331). "Whitman s ideas and attitudes were chiefly those of the Romantic Movement" (Foerster 719) . Some of Whitman s most popular writing were Leaves of Grass, A Song of Myself, and Drum-Taps. Leaves of Grass is a poem mostly concerning Whitman s childhood and memories, this is one of Whitman s fewer poem s that does not contain politics. A Song of Myself is a poem where Whitman expresses himself as a homosexual, this is also one of his fewer poems concerning politics. "Drum-Taps" was written during the time Whitman was serving as a doctor during the Civil War. "Drum-Taps" consists of what Whitman himself had seen and experienced during the Civil War. I. Beginning of a great career Vacca 2 A. Growing up 1. Raised by grandparentsa. They filled him with a love of nature and humankindb. Grandmother told Walt tales of the Revolution2. Worked as an editor of a newspapera. Learned many current politicsb. Was kicked out because of an anti-slavery postB. Published his first poem Leaves of Grass 1. A great success 2. People either disliked or liked it II. Influenced by Lincoln and the Civil War
A. Aided as a doctor for the wounded1. Helped his brother George out when he was wounded2. Wrote Many poems on what he sawa. "Drum-Taps"b. "Sequel to drum-Taps"B. A strong supporter of Lincoln1. Wrote three poems concerning Lincolna. "O Captain! My Captain!"b. "Hush d be the Camps Today" Vacca 3 c. "This Dust Was Once the Man"2. Believed Lincoln was the greatest president of all timeIII. Whitman s thoughts and ideasA. Whitman id not care about the means of achieving a truly democratic societyB. Whitman believed that the true story of the Civil War would never get into the books. C. Did not believe in slaverya. Reasons for supporting Lincolnb. Was despised by people because of his beliefsD. Whitman believed that the present theory of our army and navy is sensible and true, then the rest of America is an ummigrated fraudE. Whitman believed that America, for all its troubles, alone possessed the prerequisites for a great moral and religious civilization "Many Critics believe that Whitman s Civil War experiences destroyed him as a poet, because in the post war years he rarely wrote with his earlier inspiration and produced few great poems" (Moore 8). But Whitman would not have been known for his political writings if it wasn t for the Civil War. "Whitman s poetry was a celebration of the common man, of American democracy, and of sexuality, conveyed through a revolutionary and rhapsodic free verse" (7). "After the war, he would celebrate the democracy itself, not merely the poet" (Miller 133).