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Pioneers! O Pioneers!

Pioneers! O Pioneers!


by Walt Whitman

Pioneers! O Pioneers! Analysis

Symbols, Imagery, Wordplay

Form and Meter

The form of a Whitman poem can be tough to judge. First of all, Whitman poems typically have really long lines, which often run over into the next line because they're longer than our pages are wid...


Our speaker sounds like a tramp. And we mean that in the good way. The way that he would use the word. The way we see him, he spends a lot of his time outdoors, in the wilderness, or on the border...


America! Sorry, we got excited. It must be all those exclamation points. Our speaker is pretty clear that this isn't about pioneers around the world (especially not that old world where those droop...

Sound Check

There's one sound you'll hear over and over and over again in the poem, from the title right on through to the end: "Pioneers! O Pioneers!" That title, and the repeated refrain, set the tone of rep...

What's Up With the Title?

Gee. We wonder what this poem's about.Sprinkles?Judd Nelson?Bears?Beets?Battlestar Galactica?We're kidding. Of course. The title tells us right off the bat—this one's about pioneers. And in case...

Calling Card

Those long lines you see in the second and third lines of each stanza in this poem are pretty much Whitman's trademark move. He tends to write long, overflowing lines. This was pretty groundbreakin...


There are some odd phrasings and maybe some unfamiliar words, but otherwise the poem is pretty direct and accessible. Enjoy.


Remember that preface we quoted in our "In a Nutshell" for this poem? It's the preface to the first edition of Leaves of Grass, published in 1855. By our count, the word "America" appears nineteen...

Steaminess Rating

We suppose that those young, sinewy men with their tree felling and their "virgin soil upheaving" might be considered sexy, but other than that, there ain't a whole lot of shakin' goin' on.

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