In most of his poetry, Walt Whitman emphasizes the significance of the individual and the importance of humankind. Whitman wrote during the 19th Century. Aiding the wounded in the Civil War influenced his writings. Walt Whitman wrote one book, Leaves of Grass, which took him a lifetime to write. His masterpiece is what made him famous. Whitman's poetry is very forthright and original ranging from anything imaginable. His style of writing was not usual organized word structure, but open-ended units and very free flowing. In his poetry he made long lists cataloging everything. His style was based on cadence the long easy sweep of sound that echoes the Bible and the speeches of orators and preachers. This cadence is the reason for Walt Whitman's free verse: poetry without rhyme or meter. Being constantly curious about who he was, Whitman often wrote about individuality.
"I Hear America singing," is a famous poem that appears in Whitman's book "Leaves of Grass." The theme in this poem is the individuality in America's people. "I hear America singing the varied carols I hear, . . . " (line 1). He expresses this through the occupations of men and women of America. Walt Whitman describes the pride men and women have in their work. He states, "Each singing what belongs to him or her and none else, . . . " (line 9). He wants to show the different individual feelings and actions of the Americans through their occupations.
Walt Whitman witnessed painful, gruesome, and heartbreaking sites aiding the wounded during the Civil War. In his poem "A Sight in Camp in the Daybreak Gray and Dim," Whitman describes a horrible sight he once saw: "Three forms I see on stretchers lying, brought out there untended lying, . . . " (line 4). He can not understand why all this fighting and killing is taking place. Whitman writes, "I think this face is the face of Christ himself,/ Dead and divine and brother of all, and here ag...