I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear, Those of mechanics, each one singing his as it should be blithe
and strong, The carpenter singing his as he measures his plank or beam, The mason singing his as he makes ready for work, or leaves off
work, The boatman singing what belongs to him in his boat, the deck hand
singing on the steamboat deck, The shoemaker singing as he sits on his bench, the hatter singing
as he stands, The woodcutter's song, the ploughboy's on his way in the morning,
or at intermission or at sundown, The delicious singing of the mother, or of the young wife at work,
or of the girl sewing or washing, Each singing what belongs to him or her and to none else, The day what belongs to the day-at night the party of young
fellows, robust, friendly, Singing with open mouths their strong melodious songs.
"I Hear America Singing"
1. Why does the speaker say that each person's singing should be blithe and strong?
a) He says this because they should be proud to be in America singing their song freely.
2. The whole poem can be viewed as a catalogue. What is Whitman celebrating with this list?
a) Whitman is celebrating America and freedom.
3. Perhaps what Whitman has in mind here are not actual work songs associated with various trades, but something more subtle. What would you say this poem is really about?
a) I would say that this poem is really about celebrating and enjoying the freedom of America.
4. Would you say that Whitman is romanticizing or idealizing the life of the 19th Century laborer? Or would you say the songs he hears are expressions of independence and joy in life? Support your answers with specific references to the poem.
a) I would say Whitman the song Whitman hears are expressions of independence and joy in life because he says singing with open mouths their strong melodious songs.
They way they are who they are and what they do.Part of the work isnt just work its who u are and enjoying what you do.