The Wound Dresser

The Wound Dresser

by Walt Whitman
     
 

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Dodo Collections brings you another classic from Walt Whitman, ‘The Wound Dresser’.Walt Whitman’s “The Wound-Dresser” is a sixty-five-line free-verse poem in four sections describing the suffering in the Civil War hospitals and the poet’s suffering, faithfulness to duty, and developing compassion as he tended to

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Overview

Dodo Collections brings you another classic from Walt Whitman, ‘The Wound Dresser’.Walt Whitman’s “The Wound-Dresser” is a sixty-five-line free-verse poem in four sections describing the suffering in the Civil War hospitals and the poet’s suffering, faithfulness to duty, and developing compassion as he tended to soldiers’ physical wounds and gave comfort. Published at war’s end, the poem opens with an old veteran speaking, imaginatively suggesting some youths gathered about who have asked him to tell of his most powerful memories. The children request stories of battle glory, but the poet quickly dismisses these as ephemeral. He then narrates a journey through a military hospital such as Whitman experienced in Washington, D.C., during the second half of the war.Walter “Walt” Whitman (May 31, 1819 – March 26, 1892) was an American poet, essayist and journalist. A humanist, he was a part of the transition between transcendentalism and realism, incorporating both views in his works. Whitman is among the most influential poets in the American canon, often called the father of free verse. His work was very controversial in its time, particularly his poetry collection Leaves of Grass, which was described as obscene for its overt sexuality.Born in Huntington on Long Island, Whitman worked as a journalist, a teacher, a government clerk, and—in addition to publishing his poetry—was a volunteer nurse during the American Civil War. Early in his career, he also produced a temperance novel, Franklin Evans (1842). Whitman’s major work, Leaves of Grass, was first published in 1855 with his own money. The work was an attempt at reaching out to the common person with an American epic. He continued expanding and revising it until his death in 1892. After a stroke towards the end of his life, he moved to Camden, New Jersey, where his health further declined. When he died at age 72, his funeral became a public spectacle.Whitman’s sexuality is often discussed alongside his poetry. Though biographers continue to debate his sexuality, he is usually described as either homosexual or bisexual in his feelings and attractions. However, there is disagreement among biographers as to whether Whitman had actual sexual experiences with men.Whitman was concerned with politics throughout his life. He supported the Wilmot Proviso and opposed the extension of slavery generally. His poetry presented an egalitarian view of the races, though his attitude in life reflected many of the racial prejudices common to nineteenth-century America and his opposition to slavery was not necessarily based on belief in the equality of races per se. At one point he called for the abolition of slavery, but later he saw the abolitionist movement as a threat to democracy.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781455417117
Publisher:
B&R Samizdat Express
Publication date:
10/20/2011
Sold by:
Smashwords
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
410 KB

Read an Excerpt


provost duty at Lancaster, but would not probably remain so very long — seem to be moving towards southeast Kentucky — had a good camp, and good times generally. Le Gendre is colonel — Gen. Ferrero has left the service — Col. Potter (now brig.-gen.) is in Cincinnati — Capt. Sims, etc., are all well. George describes Kentucky as a very fine country — says the people are about half and half, Secesh and Union. This is the longest letter I have yet received from George. Did he write you one about the same time ? Mother, I have not rec'd any word from home in over a week — the last letter I had from Mr. Lane was about twelve days ago, sending me $10 for the soldiers (five from Mr. Kirkwood and five from Mr. Conklin Brush). Mother dear, I should like to hear from Martha; I wish Jeff would write me about it. Has Andrew gone ? and how is your wrist and arm, mother ? We had some very hot weather here — I don't know what I should have done without the thin grey coat you sent — you don't know how good it does, and looks too ; I wore it three days, and carried a fan and an umbrella (quite a Japanee) — most everybody here carries an umbrella, on account of the sun. Yesterday and to-day however have been quite cool, east wind. Mother, the shirts were a real godsend, they do first rate; I like the fancy marseilles collar and wristbands. Mother, how are you getting along — I suppose just the same as ever. I suppose Jess and Ed are just the same as ever. Whenyou write, you tell me all about everything, and the Browns, and the neighborhood generally. Mother, is George's trunk home and of no use there ? I wish I had it here, as I must have atrunk—but do not wish you to send until I send you word. I suppose my letter never appeared in the Eagle; well, I shall send them no more, as I think like...

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