The outer composition shows that the poem contains five stanzas of different lengths. It is written in free verse, with rhythm and rhyme occasionally lending musicality to the text and highlighting certain ideas. Each of the five stanzas evokes a different imagery, with the last stanza providing a powerful image of an ideal future for the American nation.
The inner composition shows that the poem is linear and presents the past, present, and future of the United States. The poem’s end is optimistic, showing that, despite all hardships, the nation can grow and become better, if people agree to stand together and hold true to the ideal of unity.
You find our in-depth discussion of the composition of the poem in the following pages.