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When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d Summary & Analysis
by Walt Whitman

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“When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d” was written by the American poet Walt Whitman. Composed in the wake of President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination, the poem takes the form of a pastoral elegy, mourning Lincoln’s death while praising the beauty of springtime and the natural world. The speaker comes to accept death as part of life and suggests that, just as spring follows winter, the American people will flourish again after this period of grief. Whitman included the poem in his 1865 collection Drum-Taps, a sequence of poems based on his experiences working as a nurse during the American Civil War.

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