Walt Whitman and Emily Dickenson

Free Essay Database Online

Walt Whitman and Emily Dickenson

Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman are both poets of the romantic writing period in the nineteenth century. The similar poems that they have written are based on nature, death, and immortality, as Whitman and Dickinson are both poets of the Romantic Era. Both poets note the importance of individualism in society and reveal how nature is an important connection to God. They may come from the same time, but their writing style is drastically different from one another. Whitman seems to prefer free verse while composing his essays, and Dickinson would base her writings with complex slant rhymes. Also, Dickinson often used slant rhyme that were pieced together in short poems that were kept to the point. On the other hand, Whitman’s poems were often very detailed and drawn out with his excessive use of free verse. Emily's writings also were much more sad and depressing than Walt's ecstatic and light stories. These different styles are able to be explained quite easily with the social differences between the two. Whitman was very outgoing, sociable, gregarious and he traveled a lot. Dickinson was very private, shy and content. Both Dickinson and Whitman had very different interpretations of the period of poetry they wrote in and were very different poets, even though they were different they both shaped America Today. Through their relationship with nature they were able to express beautiful poetry.

The 1800s were a period of new and energizing change in scholarly culture in America, arguably influenced by Whitman and Dickinson. The artists originate from differing backgrounds, but they do compose from mutual motivation sources. Together, they have molded American verse, and their persuasions can even now be seen today. Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson are two of the most well known poets from the era who daringly altered both the subject and style of popular verse in the time period.

Ralph Waldo Emerson called for a "meter-production contention" argument, which impelled a quest for acknowledgement inside Whitman and Dickinson (Baym 20). This enabled the two artists to push through the standard shape of sonnets to develop their own particular styles. Whitman utilizes broad symbolism of nature all through his works, for example, in Song of Myself: "The sniff of green leaves and dry leaves, and of the shore and dull color'd ocean rocks, and of roughage in the horse shelter," (24). Dickinson, likewise, utilizes the same symbolism in some of her sonnets: "These are the days when skies resume / The old – old sophistries of June – / A blue and gold mistake," (83). Furthermore, the two writers presented some of their pieces to politically-based works. Whitman’s works were published by Democrats, while Dickinson was distributed by the Republican side. They did, however, share ideas on the base of Transcendentalist writing.

Utilizing death as a powerful theme is most likely the most grounded association that Whitman and Dickinson share. Whitman's view on death revolves around of his faith in Transcendentalism. In "Song of Myself", Whitman utilizes the law of matter to declare that there is eternal life, since matter cannot be destroyed; but rather changed. In stanza six, he states "And what do you think has become of the women and children?/ They are alive and well somewhere,/ The smallest sprouts shows there is really no death". Whitman fights that life stays long after death, and to discover him now all one must do is look "under your bootsoles". Emily Dickinson's rationality on death was considerably more conventional, yet she continuosly scrutinized the Calvinistic convictions she had grown up with. Her obsession with death is a central piece of her religious convictions, and huge numbers of her ballads concentrate on her seemingly constant battle with the subject. A considerable amount of her lyrics appear to scrutinize God's presence, and the significance of Him in the event that He exists, contrary to her highly religious upbringing. In one lyric she apparently ridicules God, saying "That we had rather not with Him/ But with each other play". However numerous sonnets appear to be very certain that He does to be sure exist. This conviction is underlined by such lines as "I know that He exists", "I never spoke with God/ Nor visited in Heaven-/ Yet certain am I of the spot/ As if the Checks were given-". Like Whitman, Dickinson wants to challenge the role of religion in society, yet both are unequipped for convincing old convictions of God altogether. Sadly, however, this seems to be the place where similarities between the two run short, as they are more opposite than they are alike.

Similarities aside, Walt Whitman appears to be quite joyful and agreeable, both in his life and his lyrics. Whitman experienced childhood in a working class Quaker environment (Baym 20). He worked many occupations in the duration of his life, including working for some magazines and printers. Further down the road, he took up nursing injured troops, about which he was extremely energetic (Baym 22). His career as a war-time caretaker extraordinarily impacted his written work, and the wounded men around him moved him to scrutinize the ethical quality of war. Though he had a humbling background and role as a nurse, all throughout his life Whitman strived to become famous for his writing. Disregarding the way that he was not immediately understood, other than with Emerson, whom he significantly regarded, people definitely warmed up to his work. His liberal nature is found in his work, through both the style and substance. He reacted to Emerson's call to be more inventive by forsaking idyllic structure – so he wrote in free verse, with no meter or strict rhyme (Baym 20). In any case, he plays with other graceful gadgets, for example, reiteration, rhyme, and stanza breaks, that give his lyrics life. Whitman composed broadly about nature and the normal man. He additionally composed a considerable measure of poems regarding troops and the horrors of war as well, which clearly displays the effect his current occupation