E. Fred Carlisle: On "Vigil Strange I Kept on the Field One Night"

[T]he poet recognizes that the two men did share a reciprocal love that, just possibly, kept them going . . . and thus enabled them to find something of value in the war. The war made the relationship possible, and it gave the friendship, perhaps, a depth and immediacy it might not have had in other circumstances. Therefore, the surviving comrade will remember the personal I-Thou relationship that did exist, as well as recall the death that deprived him of his friend. The old soldier maintains a vigil that is at once a lament and a celebration. It is a vigil he can never forget because it reminds him of both love and death.


Title E. Fred Carlisle: On "Vigil Strange I Kept on the Field One Night" Type of Content Criticism
Criticism Author E. Fred Carlisle Criticism Target Walt Whitman
Criticism Type Poet Originally Posted 14 May 2020
Publication Status Excerpted Criticism Publication The Uncertain Self: Whitman's Drama of Identity
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