© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Beat! Beat! Drums!

Beat! Beat! Drums!


by Walt Whitman

Beat! Beat! Drums!: Don't tell me how to beat my drum! Quiz

Think you’ve got your head wrapped around Beat! Beat! Drums!? Put your knowledge to the test. Good luck — the Stickman is counting on you!
Q. Who or what is the speaker addressing in the first line of the poem?

The soldiers
The instruments
The people
The city
Q. What is the music doing in the church?

Helping people worship
Scattering the congregation
Taking communion
Q. Why is it important that the speaker is talking directly to the instruments instead of the people playing them?

It gives the music an impersonal sense
It shows us that he is crazy
It shows that he doesn't care about the people at all
It insinuates that the instruments are alive
Q. What does the speaker hope will happen if people try to continue on with their normal lives?

He isn't worried about it—he knows they will stop
He wants the people to have to play the instruments
He wants the people to have to fight in the war
He wants the instruments to play even louder
Q. Why are the instruments in the cities?

They are recruiting
The band is on tour
Just to bother the people
To spread the news that a war is going on