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Part of what makes Whitman's poem so powerful is its repetition of what it means to be American. When he opens with its title of hearing America singing, this becomes the familiar verse which is repeated in different and varied forms. He "hears" different expressions of what it means to be America, contributing to both its vitality and the sensitivity of the poet to understand what the essence of "America" is. The notion of varied carols is expressed in different forms and this helps to feed Whitman's conception of America, rooted in expression of "difference." At the same time, the structure and language is extremely straightforward, helping to enhance Whitman's purpose and direction which is not aimed towards the elitist members of the social order, but rather at "typical" Americans who help to form the very basis of American identity.
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