The poetic forms of Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, including its lineation and various rhythmic and syntactic patterns, are implied rather than inherent; that is, the poetic forms hold of the text as the contents of a set of implicatures, which mutually reinforce one another, and which hold somewhat loosely and with a certain degree of strength. This includes the division of the text into lines, and the presence of rhetorical groups, parallel sections, and rhythmic sequences; Whitman’s idiosyncratic punctuation contributes to this loose form. Form is not just attributed as a meaning of the text, but is also meaningful in the poem, whose ‘leaves of grass’ – both the sheets of the book and the lines of the poem - are on the one hand sheets of papyrus and on the other hand manifestations of the democratic spirit. The meaningfulness of the poetic form is enabled by its attributed status.
- Walt Whitman
- poetry meter