Although many gamers may have though they escaped their English classes when they finished school or college, that doesn't appear to be the case for those picking up Borderlands 3. Many may not notice, but thanks to the Borderlands 3 skill interaction character tool, we know that one of FL4K the Beastmaster's skill is a direct reference to classic American poetry.
Specifically, the Borderlands 3 skill in question is a direct reference to American poet Walt Whitman's classic "Leaves of Grass" collection, where he writes, "I too am not a bit tamed, I too am untranslatable / I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world" in a poem titled "Song of Myself." This expression of wild, personal strength is echoed by one of the skills in FL4K's Master tree, which is appropriately titled "Barbaric Yawp."
The Barbaric Yawp skill sees FL4K receive up to +100% of his current pet bonuses, and in the right build, could easily be considered one of FL4K's bests skills. It isn't the only reference on FL4K's skill tree either. While most of the other Borderlands 3 Vault Hunters' skill tree have standard names, FL4K has two others titled "The Fast and the Furryous" and "Lick the Wounds." The former is a clear allusion to the racing movie franchise, whereas the latter is oddly reminiscent of Kreig's "Salt the Wounds" ability.
Notably, Borderlands 3 isn't the only form of media to have picked up on Walt Whitman's work and paid homage to his legacy. "Leaves of Grass" had a solid role in the TV series Breaking Bad, with the main character, Walter White, somewhat named after Walt Whitman. Furthermore, in the final episode, one character emits what is described as a "barbaric yawp."
Where Walt Whitman pops up next remains to be seen, but those diving into the looter shooter threequel will likely have a grandiose time with all the game is set to offer. After all, Borderlands 3 has officially gone gold, meaning there isn't much time left until launch.
Borderlands 3 launches on September 13 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One, with a Stadia version also in development.