Describe Whitman’s diction. What kind of language does he use? Does this have implications politically? Poetically?
Discuss the relationship of the poems in Leaves of Grass to one another. Are they intended to be read together or separately? Do they form one larger document? What about the different editions of Leaves of Grass? Why did Whitman keep revising this work?
How does Whitman handle modernity and technological change? What kinds of landscapes do we see in his poetry? What role does the city play? What role does nature play?
What is uniquely American about Whitman’s poetry? Consider both substance and style.
How does Whitman incorporate current events into his poetry? What about the Civil War?
What, in Whitman’s view, is the function of poetry? Does it have a public or ceremonial role?
Describe Whitman’s account of his development as a poet. What experiences were important, and why?