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I Hear America Singing
by
Walt Whitman


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I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear;
Those of the 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 the 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 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.
 

This poem is in the public domain.

 

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Walt Whitman (1819  - 1892) is known primarily for a single body of work, Leaves of Grass, which was first presented as a group of twelve poems. Whitman did five major revisions of the book and authorized at least three reissued editions during his lifetime. Though his formal education ended with elementary school, Whitman was an educator at several points in his life. He also worked in the newspaper business, in jobs from typesetter to editor. Chronically poor throughout his life, he came from a large, close-knit family and was something of a patriot. He was an ardent fan of Abraham Lincoln, endorsed Prohibition, and opposed slavery, though he did not support the abolitionist movement. Whitman tried to celebrate the common man in his poetry and is sometimes called “America’s Shakespeare.”


 


New comments are closed for now.
dotief@comcast.net:
Perfect fit for the day! One of my all-time favorites! Thanks, Jayne!
Posted 07/04/2014 08:16 AM
KevinArnold:
This is just a wonderful poem. I love the repetition, especially in the first line. Perfect for July 4th in the country that has the world's by far longest-running Constitution. We're not perfect but sometimes it's useful to be thankful for what we've been given. All modern American poets owe their roots to WW and Emily Dickinson.
Posted 07/04/2014 12:26 AM


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