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The poem is full of anaphora from stanza one to the last stanza. In stanza one, Whitman uses the clause ‘so long” in the first and second line emphasize the how the theme of lies is developed. The audience gets to understand that speakers little faith is something that did not just happen overnight. Rather, it is something the speaker has always had, but about which he regrets. The introduction “O me” tells that the speaker feels that he is different from others. He feels that other have faith yet he cannot fathom how that faith work. When the poet repeats the clause “so long” in the second line of the first stanza, it reveals the speaker’s lack of faith. It shows that it emanates from his denial of various arguments about what the truth is.
Other instances of anaphora in the poem used through repletion include the works and phrases such as “upon itself” and “perfect return.” In the last stanza, Whitman’s use of anaphora becomes rather evident as he use the words “and that” to begin every four line in the last stanza. In those instances, the poet uses such repetitions to demonstrate the speaker’s justification of his claims, opinions and understanding.
A deep analysis using the anaphora approach the poet has used reveals that the speaker feels that the difference between lies and truths is the societal acceptability. He introduces what may be seen as cultural relativity, which defies the concept of universal ethics. Truths, he offers, are the only perfect returns. The speaker also suggests that lies can be perfect returns. That way, he implies that there is no difference between lies and truth as along as every lie is accepted as a form of truth.
In terms of rhythm, the poem begins with short lines in the first stanza. The short lines progressively grow into long lines as the rhyme scheme disappears and resurfaces sparsely in subsequent stanzas. The second, third and
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