Comparing Two Lyrical Poems

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By using free verse, Alice Walker, and Walt Whitman are able to convey ideas which would not be as effectively expressed with standard forms of poetry. When using free verse it gives the writer more creative freedom, due to it having no meter patterns, rhyme, or any other musical pattern. Both poems “Women” by Walker and “I Hear America Singing” by Whitman are two great examples of this. However depending on the format, and word choice, one could be more effective in conveying the message, thoughts, or feelings being expressed. The structure and form of a poem, is the key to expressing the writers message. The speaker in “Women” is giving praise to African American women who fought for the desegregation of schools. The speaker’s use of heavy metaphors and antithesis allow Walker to really express both sides of the fighting African American woman. The use of short lines with a few words also clarifies the tone intended. The speaker in “I Hear America Singing” hears the various carols of the people who contribute to the culture of America. The use of metaphors throughout the poem compare the labor of everyday American’s to music and the repetition express the love Whitman has for working America. Both poem structures allow the writers to express their thoughts and feelings clearly. While both poems structures help to express the thoughts and feelings of the writers, the words and tone convey these thoughts and feelings. Throughout Walker’s poem the tone of strong yet harsh African America women is clear from the beginning to end. She compares both sides of these women; the carrying mother, and the head strong fighter. In Whitman’s poem the tone is very firm in describing the hard working American spirit. He writes of each person singing of what belongs to him or her, and to no one else. Whitman however doesn’t compare two sides; instead he writes of everyone
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