Cavalry Crossing a Ford Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 28 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Cavalry Crossing a Ford.
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Lines 1-2

The "they" of the first line refers to the soldiers who make up the cavalry troop mentioned in the title. This abrupt beginning differs greatly from the majority of Whitman's verse, in which he uses the 5 first-person "I" as the filter through which the poem is conveyed. Here, the "I" of the poem, the speaker, is merely implied. Instead of coloring the scene with his own perception, he relates it journalistically—objectively and with a nonjudgmental tone—presenting the image of the cavalry as it crosses a ford, a shallow place in a river. The scope of the image is so broad as to imply that the scene is being viewed from a distance and likely from some higher ground. The whole of the cavalry is presented as a vast single line twisting and turning snake-like through the landscape. The "arms" that glint sunlight...

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This section contains 755 words
(approx. 2 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.