Beat! Beat! Drums!
by Walt Whitman
Beat! Beat! Drums! Questions
Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.
- Why does our speaker address the poem to the drums and the bugles? Why doesn't he address, say, the people playing those instruments, or those hearing them?
- Why does our speaker give the commands he does? Are those the things that he wants to happen?
- Which of the people in the poem do you feel for the most? The student, maybe? Or the groom? Why? Whose life is disrupted the most?
- Take a look at the adjectives our speaker uses to describe the instruments. Why does he pick those adjectives? What do they tell us?
- Is this poem more about disruption or solidarity?
- Do you think Walt Whitman is making a political commentary here, or is she just being the poet he is: observing what's around him and putting it into words?
- Do the people in this poem have any say in what's going on? Or are they powerless before the effects of the drums and bugles?
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