Hear America Singing
by Walt Whitman
interpreted by Amanda Maurer
hear America singing, the varied carols I hear,
of mechanics, each one singing his as it should be
carpenter singing his as he measueres his plank or
amson singing his as he makes ready for work, or
boatman singing what belongs to him in his boat, the
singing on the steamboat deck,
shoemaker singing as he sits on his bench, the hatter
as he stands,
wood-cutter's song, the ploughboy's on his way in the
or at noon intermission or at sundown,
delicious singing of the mother, or of the young wife at
or of the girl sewing or washing,
singing what belongs to him or her and to none else,
day what belongs to the day -- at night the party of
fellows, robust, friendly,
with open mouths their strong melodious songs.
Poet: Walt Whitman (1819-1892) grew up in
Brooklyn and Long Island in a family with 9 children. He learned how to
be a printer and through this he discovered his love for reading and writing.
Type of poem: Lyric
Speaker: The speaker is someone listening
with pride to the song of America.
Audience: This poem is directed toward America's working class.
Tone: The tone is proud and joyous.
Meaning: This poem describes the song of America. The "song"
represents the joy of being free. All the different people, of different
trades, sing a part of the song. They become a chorus, harmonizing to
make a beautiful melody.
Structure of poem: This poem has no rhyme
or meter that can be determined so it is a free verse.
Examples of poetic techniques used in the poem:
shoemaker singing as he sits on his bench.
fellows, robust, friendly, singing with open mouths, their strong
hear America singing
Connection between the poem and the poet's life and/or
times: The poet grew up in New York City, where people of the
working class lived close together. It was also during the time of immigration,
and many of the new Americans had high hopes about their new home. He
most likely observed these people and was inspired to write a poem about
Most memorable quote from the poem: "I hear America singing."
© Smelli Notes 2001