Analysis of Poems 2

Table of Contents

Analysis of Poems

Analysis of Poems Poems Introduction In his poem “I Hear America Singing” Whitman describes Americans who are proud and happy at their respective places of work. Americans have put patriotism in their heart and have always thrived not to sit back and watch as others struggle, but to be involved in the economic development of their nation. The poem “I Hear America Singing” brings out the American culture in terms of their industrious nature and their everyday endeavor to make their country the best (Whitman, 2005). This paper discusses the theme of productivity as portrayed in the poem “I Hear America Singing,” by Walt Whitman.

Analysis of Poems

Theme of Productivity

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The poem illustrates the theme of productivity among the American citizens in the totality of its stanzas. In at least each line of the poem, it (the poem) mentions and describes individuals engaged in an activity geared towards productivity. The productivity here is economic and it encompasses all Americans as illustrated in the first line of the first stanza as: “I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear” (Wallenfeldt, 2012, 26). This first line indicates that the carols in the poem are not from one source, but many sources with a common goal: productivity.

Poetic Elements Illustrating the Theme

The poem “I Hear America Singing” relays the theme of productivity through the employment of various poetic elements some of which are discussed as:


The poem “I hear America Singing” has deployed a huge use of repetition to add more weight and emphasis on the theme. The clause “makes ready for work, or leaves off work,” in the 4th line brings out the repeated word “work”. The word “work” in this line informs that productivity here is achieved only through physical involvement in jobs (Wallenfeldt, 2012, 26). Moreover, the “singing” has been repeated to put emphasis on how Americans enjoy any practice of productivity they are involved in.

Analysis of Poems
Analysis of Poems


Exploration of the reader’s emotions is the most critical part of a poem and what better way to do it by employment of imagery? In the poem “I hear America Singing” imagery has been employed to reach the needed emotional attachment between the reader and the poem. The line “The shoemaker singing as he sits on his bench, the hatter singing as he stands,” brings an image to the reader’s mind making them understand the flow and the meaning of the poem (Oliver, 2006, 97).


“I hear America Singing” is a poem showcases great flow of ideas coupled with a fine language use which describes its rhythmic details. Each line in the poem conveys similar information, but only with great emphasis for instance “The delicious singing of the mother, or of the young wife at work”, each line has an ideological connection with the previous and the following lines (Oliver, 2006, 97). The rhythm eases understanding of the poem as well as making it interesting.

The Poem and the Reader

More often, the poems do not use direct language to relay their various messages and the poem “I hear America Singing” is not left out. With the main theme as productivity, the poem employs stylistic devices that somehow bring the real meaning from a distant. The “singing” the “work” brings out the thematic impression (Oliver, 2006, 97). The reader’s emotional insight is exploited in the poem which makes it easy for any reader to feel as part of the poem during and after their readership.


The approaches used in the exploration of a poem can virtually lead to understanding the reality involved in the message that the poem might be relaying. Understanding the poem “I hear America Singing” can be involved depending on the approach a reader takes. However, from the point of view of productivity, the poem directly communicates with the reader. Therefore, Whiteman’s reflection on the theme of productivity portrays his poetic expertise in a bid to immerse the reader’s ruminative aspects to comprehend the subject matter.


Oliver, C. M. (2006). Critical companion to Walt Whitman: A literary reference to his life and work. New York: Facts on File.

Wallenfeldt, J. H. (2012). From democracys roots of a country divided: America from 1816 to 1850. New York: Britannica Educational Pub., in association with Rosen Educational Services.

Whitman, W. (2005). I hear America singing. Retrieved on 20 June 2014 from

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