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Beat ! Beat! Drums! Analysis

Author: Poetry of Walt Whitman Type: Poetry Views: 2799

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BEAT! beat! drums!--Blow! bugles! blow!

Through the windows--through doors--burst like a ruthless force,

Into the solemn church, and scatter the congregation;

Into the school where the scholar is studying;

Leave not the bridegroom quiet--no happiness must he have now with

his bride;

Nor the peaceful farmer any peace, plowing his field or gathering his


So fierce you whirr and pound, you drums--so shrill you bugles blow.

Beat! beat! drums!--Blow! bugles! blow!

Over the traffic of cities--over the rumble of wheels in the streets:

Are beds prepared for sleepers at night in the houses? No sleepers

must sleep in those beds;10

No bargainers' bargains by day--no brokers or speculators--Would they


Would the talkers be talking? would the singer attempt to sing?

Would the lawyer rise in the court to state his case before the


Then rattle quicker, heavier drums--you bugles wilder blow.

Beat! beat! drums!--Blow! bugles! blow!

Make no parley--stop for no expostulation;

Mind not the timid--mind not the weeper or prayer;

Mind not the old man beseeching the young man;

Let not the child's voice be heard, nor the mother's entreaties;

Make even the trestles to shake the dead, where they lie awaiting the


So strong you thump, O terrible drums--so loud you bugles blow.


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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

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It calls forward all the young men to get ready to give up their present lives and commit themselves fully to the war. Ploughing, preaching, teaching in the schools, everything must be stopped, even the newly weds are supposed to stop enjoying, "poor them"... The drums and bugles are to beat and blow so hard that the father's pleas to his son not to join the war, the "mother's entreaties", "the child's voice", everything is ignored! By "terrible drums", we see that the poet is NOT glorifying the war, but saying that it's UNAVOIDABLE!

| Posted on 2013-12-12 | by a guest

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OMG exactly everyone knows what you beat and BLOW come on obviously he wants a girl to BLOW him

| Posted on 2013-05-21 | by a guest

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I believe this poem to be about the Civil War cause that IS what is about. He is sounding the beginning of the \"Civil\" war not \"World\" war. He says in the poem how the soldiers should be touched and/or affected by the war.

| Posted on 2012-10-30 | by a guest

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My friend and I just found this site and laughed at the comments for 10 mins! We\'re supposed to be doing AP work, but this is better than that

| Posted on 2012-04-12 | by a guest

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The message of the poem is that wars are ruthless and cruel and there will only be a bloody massacre. The result of the war will be frightening, so people shouldn’t even be so cruel and start the war in the first place. People need to realize the frightening horrors of the war and how gruesome it will be.

| Posted on 2012-04-04 | by a guest

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this poem is about a guy and a girl who randomly hooked up one night and she blew what he beats and then she went home. one happy ending!

| Posted on 2012-03-26 | by a guest

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llamas are amazing and this poem reminds me of 6 foot 7 foot.

| Posted on 2012-03-19 | by a guest

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In this poem, Whitman places the collective madness of war into the context of the common citizen’s lives. He shows how war can plough through society, disrupting its peace, tranquility, order, and harmony. He shows that chaos is the order of the day in war.
Whitman is smart enough to evade mentioning the cause of the instability and the soldiers fighting the war. He Cleary shows that in war, it is the common man that has more to lose and most affected.
Analysis by Ondieng’a Mauti Caleb.

| Posted on 2011-06-04 | by a guest

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I think this is about war, and how everyone is disturbed by it.

| Posted on 2011-04-24 | by a guest

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broke back mountain got their insperation from this.

| Posted on 2011-04-18 | by a guest

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| Posted on 2011-02-22 | by a guest

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In this poem, Whitman describes raping a goat in vivid detail.

| Posted on 2011-02-07 | by a guest

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\"this poems is describing world war I. the nazis are attacking pearl harbor and the U.S. is angered and writing the declaration of independence as the drums beat\" hahahaha lmao...not only was whitman dead way bfor ww1 the declaration of independence was signed like 1 hundred some yrs bfor retard

| Posted on 2010-12-03 | by a guest

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He\'s a FAG,no way around it. i\'m only reading this because i have to do a report on the Jackass. but really, ww1, the nazis attacking Pearl Harbor? I hope your joking, \'cause otherwise you\'re just a dumbass.

| Posted on 2010-12-01 | by a guest

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there are no figures of speech !!
b coz it is a serious poem !!

| Posted on 2010-11-30 | by a guest

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what do you think drums are? he says to beat them and blow those bugles! do you still think they are drums? what is soemthing guys beat and girls blow? :O x Mans be chilling! ROFLCOPTER goes SOI SOI SOI SOI SOI

| Posted on 2010-10-24 | by a guest

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What is the dominant impression communicated by the final line of “Bivouac on a Mountain Side”?

| Posted on 2010-05-02 | by a guest

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wow. theres only like 2 good responses here. he was a nurse in the war and its about the pre-civil war time when the troops were being rallied. only look at those posts. ignore the others.

| Posted on 2010-04-21 | by a guest

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| Posted on 2010-04-19 | by a guest

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of course this isnt world war 2 retard. Walt Whitman was long dead

| Posted on 2010-04-10 | by a guest

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Walt Whitman uses alliteration, repetition, and tone to develop the poem and create rhythm. Line 11 states,”No bargainers’ bargains by day”, expressing an alliteration. Whitman uses the phrase, “Beat! Beat! Drums!—Blow! Bugles! Blow!” as the opening line of each stanza. His tone in the poem is almost hysterical, like there’s no time to lose, and that is shown in the last line of the second stanza which states,” Then rattle quicker, heavier drums—you bugles wilder blow.”
To me, this poem is about the Civil War rallies and drafting into the war. The drums and bugles sound to inform everyone about the war and the needed soldiers. The bridegroom has to leave his wife, the farmer has to leave his farm... etc.
In the last stanza, the tone turns erie. It shows the lost lives and by the description "terrible drums", it reflects how the drums can be a death sentence.
-- Sorry, I just copied and pasted this from my school paper so it might be a little choppy...

| Posted on 2010-03-09 | by a guest

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this poems is describing world war I. the nazis are attacking pearl harbor and the U.S. is angered and writing the declaration of independence as the drums beat.... haha i find this funny whoever posted this. Whitman dies before World War 1 was EVEN CLOSE to starting. he's talking about the civil war. he worked as a nurse during the civil war. What a stupid comment

| Posted on 2010-03-09 | by a guest

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Through my interpreting of this Whitman poem, it seems as if this poem is divided into three paragraphs for a reason. The first possibly being a warning call for an upcoming battle. The second maybe being the marching of the army through streets, and the third possibly being a mournful scene, seeing as how Whitman mentions hearses in the lines, so possibly a funeral procession for soldiers killed, as there are multiple hearses mentioned.
FYI: Hearse- noun; a vehicle carrying a casket or simply a casket being paraded through a crowd to celebrate the person who has passed on.
Hope my view helps!

| Posted on 2010-02-06 | by a guest

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this poems is describing world war I. the nazis are attacking pearl harbor and the U.S. is angered and writing the declaration of independence as the drums beat

| Posted on 2010-01-27 | by a guest

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Knowing a bit about his life, he was a nurse for the civil war, i beleive the poem is about how the war raged on no matter what. He said that the drums and bugles went off through church, when a scholar was at school and things such as these. I also think he was trying to give his readers a feel of what the war was like.

| Posted on 2009-12-02 | by a guest

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The poem clearly describes how what was being looked at as a short lived war is going to turn into a long, drawn out war.
Also describes the thought of how the civil war was disrupting all aspects off life, both adult and children, civilian and soldier.

| Posted on 2009-05-12 | by a guest

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i think that this guy is was thinking of penices when he wrote this. think about it "beat", "blow". And maybe he is referring to drums as penices.

| Posted on 2009-05-06 | by a guest

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I think he is saying that the strong ones are going through the town and give no mercy, no respect, nothing!

| Posted on 2009-03-31 | by a guest

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I think he is saying that the strong ones are going through the town and give no mercy, no respect, nothing!

| Posted on 2009-03-31 | by a guest

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think about the time period. it's about the civil war and how it raged in and disrupted the beautiful things democracy had allowed

| Posted on 2009-03-03 | by a guest

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the poem sends doubt through me. I question that this could happen so quickly that the farmers and children couldnt escape. Which furthers my idea of it being he dream of someone in the war, a soldier maybe

| Posted on 2009-01-29 | by a guest

.: 112 :.

What is wrong with homosexuals writing poetry? And i doubt you could call this simplistic, perhaps you have just overlooked the complexities within this poem that go beyond your understanding =]

| Posted on 2008-05-06 | by a guest

.: Whitman :.

This poem is written by a homosexual, because Whitman was a homosexual; therefore, don't read his poetry.

| Posted on 2008-02-27 | by a guest

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Today's poem is not so much about war, as about the *idea* of war, and the
terrible urgency with which it can sweep through a nation's consciousness,
consuming or overpowering everything in its path.

The structure and rhythms of the poem reflect that urgency - not the
measured cadence of a marching drum, but the rising, almost hysterical rush
of sound as action seeks to displace thought, as the drums 'rattle quicker,
heavier' and the bugles 'wilder blow'.

It is tempting to view this as purely an antiwar poem - tempting, but overly
simplistic. More accurately, the poem is more descriptive than judgemental,
capturing rather precisely the raised emotions and demanded sacrifices of a
brewing war, and the frightening, jealous power with which an idea, a Cause
can grip a people.

| Posted on 2005-05-16 | by Approved Guest

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