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Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Drum Taps , please sign up. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. My Captain! Have I only five stars to offer?
Robert Duncan liked Two Rivulets best among the nine successive editions Walt Whitman prepared of his Leaves of Grass , so perhaps I should simply encourage the enterprising poetry publisher to put that one together, it's all public domain, but these editions emerging the edition, from University of Iowa -- beautiful; the Dover November Boughs , a pleasant surprise from various hands, here the Fordham musicologist Lawrence Kramer, make me very happy: they re Have I only five stars to offer? Robert Duncan liked Two Rivulets best among the nine successive editions Walt Whitman prepared of his Leaves of Grass , so perhaps I should simply encourage the enterprising poetry publisher to put that one together, it's all public domain, but these editions emerging the edition, from University of Iowa -- beautiful; the Dover November Boughs , a pleasant surprise from various hands, here the Fordham musicologist Lawrence Kramer, make me very happy: they recognize, as it has taken too long to impress upon the American poetic consciousness, that Leaves of Grass is a single, open-form poem, which Whitman took away from, and added to, over the years, and these occasions are themselves miracles of the American imagination, worth studying in their own right, as well as for their ultimate contribution to the ongoing Leaves of Grass.
Kramer's argument, that Whitman had prepared Drum Taps as a work separate from the longer work, finds confirmation in my own supposition that perhaps Whitman hoped that the appropriateness of that project would bring him a recognition thus-far denied him; however Lincoln's assassination no doubt altered the calculation, and following a second thought, which included the poems written around the Lincoln elegy, "When Lilacs last in the dooryard bloom'd," Whitman seems to have lost faith in the separate volume.
At that point Drum Taps was rendered back into the larger volume. About the half the poems were discarded. Kramer's editing is studious; his students' notes are a little windy, but in the spirit of the thing; the use of footnotes in the text proper is a missed call, but O well; and the small format is handy indeed.
Let's get to the good stuff: Why is it that, among recent poet-critics putting together their Selected Whitmans, not one in my possession Harold Bloom; Robert Hass; Robert Creeley include "By the bivouac's fitful flame"? To me it's one of Whitman's great short poems. Here 'tis: By the bivouac's fitful flame, A procession winds around me, solemn and sweet and slow; -- but first I note, The tents of the sleeping army, the fields' and woods' dim outline, The darkness, lit spots of kindled fire -- the silence; Like a phantom far or near an occasional figure moving; The shrubs and trees, as I lift my eyes they seem to be stealthily watching me; While wind in procession thoughts, O tender and wondrous thoughts, Of life and death -- of home and the past and loved, and of those that are far away; A solemn and slow procession there as I sit on the ground, By the bivouac's fitful flame.
Could this be improved? The "fitful flame," fitful in that it's subject to being blown out, makes the second line's use of the rhetorical figure of syllepsis on "wind" used to indicate a line of soldiers in long queue, and not, as we anticipate, the climate condition all the more surprising, and pleasing, and troped at the end of the second line, where, having started with this figure of the flame's fitfulness, the poet creates, in that "but first I note," his own queue: for the trope, he's telling us, came to him in thought after he had observed those "tents of the sleeping army" -- bivouacs over the valley in the dusk as the lights come up, and the figures in his head and the figures he's not quite willing to admit to "process" around him.
They are nothing more than the "shrubs and trees," other bivouacs, a landscape he can no more admit than he can "lift my eyes. The drums start heroic, but with deaths in fields and the mutilated in hospitals, they end hollow and harsh.
Poetry that reads more like prose, t's pretty obvious where Walt goth is inspiration. An interesting portrait of the Civil War. Phantoms, welcome, divine and tender! Invisible to the rest, henceforth become my compan- ions; Follow me ever! Sweet are the blooming cheeks of the living! But sweet, ah sweet, are the dead, with their silent eyes. Dearest comrades! Perfume therefore my chant, O love! Give me to bathe the memor Phantoms, welcome, divine and tender!
Give me to bathe the memories of all dead soldiers. Perfume all! O love! O chant! Give me exhaustless—make me a fountain, That I exhale love from me wherever I go, For the sake of all dead soldiers. Walt Whitman is an awful over rated poet. His poetry deserves only 1 star. But in this particular book his poetry deals with what he saw during the US civil war, as a civilian and later as a medic; and so the books rating is being rounded up for its value as a historical document.
His view was as good as any video that could have been taken, and he fills us in with all the emotion: bloody and raw and devastated. Maybe it is not fair to compare this work to Leaves of Grass , but I was missing the energy in Drum-Taps. However, this can also be because someone read it to me. At the risk of appearing to pad my stats, I'm writing a separate review of Drum Taps apart from Leaves of Grass because it is my favorite section as a whole so far and definitely deserves its own review.
Similar to individual plays by the Big 3 Greeks, it seems almost obscene to have one rating and one review for Aeschylus I-IV, for example. Many theses have been written on single poems by WW, so an extra review shan't do too much harm. A lot of people lose their shit for "Song of Myself.
- The Walt Whitman Archive.
- Drum-Taps - Wikipedia.
- ‘How Manhattan Drum-Taps Led’.
- Leaves of Grass?
- LA CASA DI RITORNO / RAPPRESAGLIA (Italian Edition)?
T'aint my favorite though, Drum Taps is. I think it has something to do with a young WW being a nurse in the Civil War while writing it. In my early 20s I was working for a Presidential Campaign, a job that had me knocking on strangers' doors in the degree heat of a Las Vegas summer. As an introvert, the job stretched me to the max; I met all kinds of crazy people and found myself in any number of absurd situations throughout a given hour day. By the end of a shift when I was on the way home I felt a glorious blend of bliss and sadness.
I had no family then, it was just me, so I could afford to throw everything away each day and in doing so I came close and comfortable with notions like Time and Death and Infinity; the bliss I felt wore the same shape as tragic acceptance. I imagine WW to be in somewhat of the same mind during his nursing days. He saw a lot more blood, and dealt with even more danger and absurdity my experience is nothing in comparison admittedly thus his poetic voice is that much more profound.
There's a certain monotone cadence I've found in select poems -- the chorus in Agammemnon , the narrative voice in much of Cormac McCarthy's works, for example -- that, to me, is the voice of a Psychopomp, a spirit that guides the souls of the dead to the afterlife. It's a voice of acceptance, of contemplation on the realities of existence many of which are dark, and sad, and disappointing , a voice of calm Truth that helps us deal with the fact that we all must die. WW from the beginning seemed to have a Homeric tint to him; here, he ascends to the ranks of the great Hellenic tragedians.
Between the great elegiac poems there are shorter episodes -- WW meets a taciturn youth that gives him "more than all of the gifts of the world," and prays to the moon, to name a few -- so that in this slim volume, a section not particularly known among LoG , we have a perfect summary of a fatalistic and special time in one's life. Writing is the failure to express grand emotions, hence it is the earnestness of the attempt and the quality of failure that counts.
So I was interested when I saw this version of the original edition. But the key poems are the small vignettes bringing to life the rather mundane activities of the soldiers. The collection also features a large number of dramatic poems for Whitman. Accessed 27 June O Pioneers! Camps of green O Manhattan, my own, my peerless!
O strongest you in the hour of danger, in crisis! How you sprang! Manhattan arming. How I love them! The blood of the city up—arm'd! Mannahatta a-march! It's O for a manly life in the camp! And the sturdy artillery! And you, Lady of Ships! Old matron of the city! It shall pass by the intellect to swim the sea, the air, With joy with you, O soul of man. Words no more, for hearken and see, My song is there in the open air—and I must sing, With the banner and pennant a-flapping. And what does it say to me all the while?
Nothing, my babe, you see in the sky; And nothing at all to you it says. How envied by all the earth! O now it seems to me it is talking to its children! I hear it—it talks to me—O it is wonderful! O it stretches—it spreads and runs so fast! Yet louder, higher, stronger, bard! With passions of demons, slaughter, premature death? Aye all! O pennant! So loved! ARM'D year! Rest, while I tell what the crowd around us means; On the plain below, recruits are drilling and exercising; There is the camp—one regiment departs to morrow; Do you hear the officers giving the orders?
Do you hear the clank of the muskets? Why, what comes over you now, old man? Twenty thousand were brought against us, A veteran force, furnish'd with good artillery. It sickens me yet, that slaughter! Every one else seem'd fill'd with gloom; Many no doubt thought of capitulation.
Leaves of Grass Summary and Analysis of "Drum-Taps"
And is this the ground Washington trod? Ah, hills and slopes of Brooklyn!
Encampments new! O pioneers! O beloved race in all! O I mourn and yet exult—I am rapt with love for all, Pioneers! Are there some of us to droop and die? O you young and elder daughters! Shrouded bards of other lands! Do the corpulent sleepers sleep? Was the road of late so toilsome? When shows break up, what but One's-Self is sure? What stays with you latest and deepest? On, on I go— open, doors of time!
In mercy come quickly. What, to passions I witness around me to-day?
Drum-Taps | poetry by Whitman | axuhurajowoj.gq
How it climbs with daring feet and hands! How the true thunder bellows after the lightning! And do you rise higher than ever yet, O days, O cities! Would the talkers be talking? CITY of ships! O the black ships! O the fierce ships!
O the beautiful, sharp bow'd steam-ships and sail-ships! City of the world! City of wharves and stores! Proud and passionate city! Spring up, O city! Fear not! Behold me! O to hear you call the sailors and the soldiers! O to hear the tramp, tramp, of a million answering men!