Cynthia Wachtell, Director of the Honors Program on the Beren CampusDr. Cynthia Wachtell, research associate professor of American studies and director of the S. Daniel Abraham Honors Program at Stern College for Women, penned a contribution to the North American Review’s project, “Every Atom: Reflections on Walt Whitman at 200,” in which the editor of the project, Brian Clements, poses the question that the contributors attempt to answer: “Two hundred years after Walt Whitman’s birth, how do we grapple with the complexities of his legacy?”

Dr. Wachtell’s contribution focuses on Whitman’s use of “song” and “singing” in his poetry: “Singing is the most compelling metaphor of the final version of Leaves of Grass. It reflects Whitman’s optimistic faith in America’s democratic enterprise. Nowhere is this articulated more elegantly than in ‘I Hear America Singing,’ in which he hears ‘the varied carols” of the carpenter, boatman, shoemaker, mother, and others. Whitman imagines ‘America singing,’ a harmonious coming together of diverse voices.”

Read the entire essay.

Tagged with:

Comments are closed.