Walt Whitman, a modernist poet, who is also known as an advocate of American democracy, uses bombastic words to represent common men’s thoughts against traditional norms. The American Civil War started in 1865 and greatly impacted his writing. As a man who expressed devotion and support to his country, he thought the war was necessary to unite America. To demonstrate his patriotism, his ink has called for war, represented in “Beat! Beat! Drums”. However, His poem “Dirge for Two Veterans”, focuses on human pain and suffering caused by the American Civil War.
To illustrate: The poem “Beat! Beat! Drums! It is a war song that possesses the power to hypnosis people to join in the war. To some extent, it is like Kazi Nazrul’s “Chol Chol Chol!”. Both of the poems encourage people to join in war and to open a new window of possibilities. In “Beat! Beat! Drums!’’, the narrator commands people that people should know that the war has begun so it will affect the peace of the church and “school where the scholar is studying,” the bridegroom should not be quiet—” no happiness must he have now with his bride,”
Nor the peaceful farmer any peace, plowing his field or gathering his grain”.
There will be no conversations even in trial. He encourages the war song to play so loud in every corner that it will “shake the dead. “This poem empowers the heart of a common man. On the other hand, “Dirge for Two Veterans’ ‘ shows the consequences of the war or the cruel reality of the war. The poet himself was a helping hand in the war. That’s why he can picture it with actual images. This poem is based on the agony caused by death in the war. Whitman portrayed his emotions concerning the deaths of the two soldiers. In the 1st stanza, we see, “On the pavement here, and there beyond it is looking,
Down a new-made double grave.” which displays a grave scene. The emotional scene shown in the poem is about more than death. So, we can say, his idea of war started with excitement and ended with the embrace of the cruel reality of the war.
Walt Whitman shows us throughout his poetry that poetry helps to color the realistic details found in our society.