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Lecture Outline- March 6 - March 6 2008 American Identities...

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March 6, 2008 American Identities Elaborating Democratic Equality a. Radical equality of all things b. Pg. 211 section 48 c. “clear and sweet is my soul… and clear is sweet is all that is not my soul” (156) The Form of Whitman’s Poetry a. Whitman= poet of democracy b. Forms of his poetry: c. A subtle but felt rhythm (falling rhythm) i. Enough rhythm is present to make the work feel like a poem by appealing to our sound and pattern-detecting mind, not just to our reasoning/reading mind. ii. But not so much rhythm as to make us submit to the authority of a rigid pattern or to the expertise of a pattern-making poet. d. Repetition i. Repetition makes the verse feel ordered, but the order is very loose and unpredictable, it’s not regular enough to make the readers feel controlled. e. The long line! i. The long line- its length is never predictable- feels like ordinary speech. It verges on prose. ii. It feels inclusive; it can expand as far as necessary to include whatever needs to be included. iii. Might be based on the breath- as much as we can say in one breath.
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