Whitman`stribute to the assassinated president Abraham Lincon
Thedemise of the great American President Abraham Lincon left diversefeelings in its wake and this led to various ways of dealing with itfrom different people. Notably. Literature has been used extensivelyas a reaction to the America`s darkest days. An example of literaturedevice used is poetry with an example of Whitman’s poem. Throughoutthe course of Whitman’s poetry, a series of symbols have beenmeticulously used to represent mourning and grief. Whitman used thestar and the bird to describe different meanings in the life andcharacter of Abraham lincon. This paper discusses the star as asymbol, and its possible meaning in Whitman’s poetry forassassinated president Lincoln. It also elaborates on how the meaningkeeps on changing in the entire course of the poetry.
Thesignificant importance of Lincon is shown by usage of star, which isan object that is visible, giving light to illuminate the universe. Describing someone by a star portray a perception that he or she actsas factor to look at, a sigh of national unity. Additionally, in thepoem the star means the United States of America national flag. Mostcommonly a flag is situated high enough for all easy visibility. Inthis context it acts as a symbol of reference that is usually heistedhigh for visibility in the need to command authority. In anydemocratic state, the president is a symbol of unity, a leader of thenation as well as the head of state. By this description AbrahamLincoln is represented as the star’s heading the nation, offeringlight and guidance to the entire public. A figure to look at for hopeand direction.
Inthe poem, the stars have been used to represent the western part ofUnited State of America, which had a deeper and direct relation withthe late president. This shown when the poet says that "Andthe great star early droop’d in the western sky in the night"(Stanza1, line 2).Evidently, President Lincoln was born in Illinois, a state situatedat the west at that time. In describing the western star, Whitman’sbrought about the origin of great man. According to the antagonist,"..greatstar disappear’d—O the black murk that hides the star!"(Stanza 2 line 3), description that western star have fallensymbolizes the assassination and subsequent death of lincon. Linconin this concept being the star, and having fallen describe the suddendeath by assassination. It also brings the general meaning of thewestern concept of death. This happened without notice consequentlywith darkness setting in.
Thestar again brings the meaning of the cycle of Abraham Lincoln’slife. Describing the morning descries the birth and origin of thepresident and also the childhood. The day represent adulthood aswells as old age where the night represent death and spiritual life. Whitman brings a heavenly object to represent an earthly being asdone by symbolizing the star in a dark night as shown in thestatement "Oshades of night—O moody, tearful night!"(Stanza 2 line 2).the star which may represent the American peopleshows the abyss the find themselves in with the death of theircoveted man
Inconclusion, the poem has evidently used the star symbolismspectacularly to portray the demise of Linconas a big blow to the American people. However, though with Englishthat is rich in native influence making it hard to understand, theidea is well outline.
Whitman,W. WhenLilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d. (n.d.). Retrieved 1st dec. 2015 from<https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/when-lilacs-last-door-yard-bloomd>