Cavalry Crossing a Ford Essay

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Kelly Kelly is an instructor of creative writing and literature at Oakton Community College and the College of Lake County. In this essay, he examines the reasons why Whitman used a tighter, more formal style in "Cavalry Crossing a Ford" than he used in other poems.

In Walt Whitman's poem "Cavalry Crossing a Ford," readers are presented with a rich, sublime example of how maturity can mold a writer's vision without necessarily hampering it. The poem was written after Whitman had experienced the Civil War and had been exposed to the horrible results of combat that he saw as a nurse at an army hospital in Washington. In this poem, readers do not see the immediate repulsion that he must have felt; there is no sign of war's violence, just an appreciation of the efficiency on display as dozens of humans move as one single organism, as the...

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This section contains 1,594 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
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Poetry for Students
Cavalry Crossing a Ford from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.