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We Understand…this Poem.

We Understand…this Poem.

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We Understand…this Poem.

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  1. We Understand…this Poem. By: Janelle and McKenzie

  2. Summary • The main idea and speaker’s message of “I Understand the Large Hearts of Heroes” is that heroes always suffer, and everyone is a hero in their own way. • Throughout Whitman’s poem, there were examples of different heroes. For instance: the skipper that saved his crew, the dying martyr, and the fireman. “How the skipper saw…Death…How he knuckled tight and gave not back an inch, and was faithful of days and faithful of nights.” (Whitman lines 3-6) This shows the skipper’s heroism.

  3. Sound Devices • Some poetic devices that we found in this poem were parallelism, catalogue, alliteration, and assonance. • For example: “Again the long roll of drummers, again the attacking cannon, mortars, again to my listening ears the cannon responsive.” (Whitman lines 39-41) Here, Whitman uses the word “again” repetitively. This emphasizes all that is going on all around the speaker. • We found alliteration in lines 26 and 27. “I mash’d fireman with breast-bone broken, tumbling walls buried me in their debris.” (Whitman lines 26 and 27) In this quote, the consonant “b” is repeated throughout.

  4. Imagery • Sensory details are found everywhere in “I Understand the Large Hearts of Heroes.” They help paint scenes, project noises, and give off smells. “The mother of old, condemn’d for a witch, burned with dry wood, her children gazing on.” (Whitman lines 13 and 14) • Another example is “The riders spur their unwilling horses, haul close, Taunt my dizzy ears and beat me violently over the head with whip-stocks.” (Whitman lines 21 and 22)

  5. Metaphors • “They show as the dial or move as the hands of me, I am the clock myself.” (Whitman line 36) • This metaphor is comparing humanity to a simple clock. • In this metaphor, the hands on the clock are the heroes of the world and they stand out among everyone else. • This connects to the main idea by showing that anybody can be a hero. Common people can be heroes in small ways.

  6. Themes • Some themes that are reflected in this poem are unity and diversity. • Unity: “I understand the large hearts of heroes, The courage of present times and all times…” (Whitman lines 1 and 2) This shows the theme of unity by bonding heroes together by giving them all large hearts and making them all courageous. • Diversity: “The skipper…Mother of old…I am the hounded slave…I am the mash’d fireman…I am an old artillerist…My dying general…” (Whitman lines 3, 12, 16, 26, 37, and 48)

  7. The End