Walt Whitman “the human quality”

Walt says that he the real war isn’t in “leaves of grass”, but he is able to capture some of the emotional experience of both the observer of a nation in turmoil as well as the internal conflict experienced by soldiers after the war. Whether Whitman portrays the hopeless feeling of the observer sitting in silence in “I Sit and Look Out”, or the guilt, shame, and also compassion experienced after taking the life of another man in “Reconciliation”; Whitman creates the “human” surrounded by the brutality of war. As an older man opposed to the civil war, he certainly played the role of the hopeless onlooker, but he also was involved in the tragedies of war while spending time with the wounded in the hospital in Washington. As an observer, Whitman sits in silence without no control, but has the ability to analyze and understand. In much of his poetry, the hands on approach gives knowledge through experience, but in other poetry his silence gives him more knowledge. He opens his eyes before he opens his mouth in commentary.

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