I hear american singing
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Whitman is addressing the working class in America. One by one, he lists the different members of the American working class and describes the way they sing as they perform their respective tasks. He formats each line and sentence similarly, as many begin with the word "the," and contain phrases that are variations on "as he ___" or "on his way to ___." This structural choice gives the lines a quick pace and an a rhythmic whimsicality. Because of this, the poem gives the reader the sensation of hearing these carols in rapid succession.