‘America’ by Walt Whitman. Essay

‘America’ by Walt Whitman. Essay

Length: 1673 words (4.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview













Thesis statement
When you look back, no American author is more influencing then Walt Whitman. He is celebrated as the father of free verse.
We are going to take a look at just one poem and I hope you are as influenced as I am about this poem. It is called America. Whitman is deemed to be a successor to Shakespeare and Virgil. He arose from the Long Island and grew up in Brooklyn where he a small amount of formal education. During his life, he worked as a printer, editor, schoolteacher, and reporter. His self-published Leaves of Grass got its partial inspiration from his tours through the American Frontier and by the admiration he had for Ralph Waldo Emerson.


During the time he lived, his publication went through eight editions as Whitman extrapolated and revised the poetry and added another work on the original anthology of twelve poems. According to Emerson, the emergent edition was the most surprising piece of wit and wisdom not yet experienced and contributed in America.
Whitman opted to publish his own passionate evaluation of Leaves of Grass. Whitman’s style of writing was quite unnerving to readers and critics. His poems received minimal public acclaim owing to a number of reasons: this openness in regard to sex, his self-portrayal as a rough working man and his outstanding innovations. He appeared to be a poet who didn’t adhere to the normal meter and rhyme schemes as set by his contemporaries.
Whitman got his influence from the extensive cadences and rhetorical approaches of Biblical poetry. After publishing Leaves of Grass, Whitman lost his job. He was working with the Department of the Interior. In spite of his mixed critical welcome in the US, he received a warm welcome in England, with Algernon Cha...


... middle of paper ...


...with the poem. When reading through his work, it is evident that all his work is derived from his experience in America throughout his life.





Works cited
Ward, D. (2013). Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson and the War that Changed Poetry Forever. Smithsonian website. Retrieved April 9 from http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/walt-whitman-emily-dickinson-and-the-war-that-changed-poetry-forever-31815/?no-ist
Re-scripting Whitman. The Whitman Archive. Retrieved April 9 from http://www.whitmanarchive.org/criticism/current/anc.00152.html
Walt Whitman. Poetry Foundation. Retrieved April 9 from http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/walt-whitman
Walt Whitman. Biography.com Website. Retrieved April 9 from http://www.biography.com/people/walt-whitman-9530126
Benton, J., DiYanni, R. (1999). Arts and Culture. An Introduction to the Humanities. Prentice Hall.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Walt Whitman And His Work Essay

- Walt Whitman, born in May of 1819, grew up with an affinity for America. Originally from Long Island, New York, Whitman moved to Brooklyn as a child in hopes that his father would find work in the city. However, when that did not happen, his father took Walt out of school in order for him to work and bring in an extra income. Whitman began his working career at age eleven by working in one of Brooklyn’s attorney offices. Shortly afterwards, he began getting involved in the printing business and fell in love with it....   [tags: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Walt Whitman]

Powerful Essays
1604 words (4.6 pages)

Ralph Emerson And Walt Whitman Essay

- Ralph Waldo Emerson and Walt Whitman are two of the most iconic American poets of the 19th century. Emerson and Whitman were both revolutionaries in American poetry, in their own time and their own right. When Emerson released his piece “The Poet,” a writing that challenged all of the American poets to become, as he put it, the next “Great American Poet,” which would address all of “the facts of the animal economy, sex, nutriment, gestation, birth.” Of all the poets that read Emerson’s piece, Whitman was the one who decided to “put the living, breathing, sexual body at the center of much of his poetry, challenging conventions of the day” (“Walt Whitman”, The Norton Anthology of American Lit...   [tags: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Walt Whitman]

Powerful Essays
1223 words (3.5 pages)

Walt Whitman Transcendentalism Essay

- Walt Whitman was an an author of the transcendentalism period, and related a lot of work to the time period. His works, like the poem “Leaves of Grass”, are considered to be a landmark in the history of American literature (biography.com), talks about nature, and his poem, “Song of Myself”, talks about individualism, and how we are connected to each other. Both ideas are themes of the transcendentalism period. Walt Whitman’s life was characteristic of the time period in which he lived in (shmoop.com)....   [tags: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Walt Whitman]

Powerful Essays
1257 words (3.6 pages)

Essay on Walt Whitman And The New York

- May 31, 1819, Walt Whitman was born to Walter Whitman and Louisa Van Velsor. Walt was the second son of nine children who lived in New York in the 1820’s and 1830’s. Between 1825 and 1830 Walt attended public school in Brooklyn while his family moved often within the city. At twelve Walt began to learn the trade of printing to then begin loving the written word. Whitman worked as a printer until the age of seventeen when a fire destroyed where he worked. In 1836 he began working as a school teacher in Long Island until 1841 when he became a full-time journalist....   [tags: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Walt Whitman, United States]

Powerful Essays
923 words (2.6 pages)

Song Of Myself By Walt Whitman Essay

- “Song of Myself” by Walt Whitman is a great American poem that reflects the nation’s ideals such as freedom, equality, and unity. These ideas were much needed at the time of its first publication in 1855, ten years before the American Civil War. The poem was published again 1n 1891 just before the poet’s death. “Song of Myself” should serve as an American epic because of its representation of American tradition, culture, and ideals. It also strives to include all of the country’s extremely diverse population, which is a difficult task....   [tags: United States, Walt Whitman, American Civil War]

Powerful Essays
1081 words (3.1 pages)

Walt Whitman as a Voice for the People Essay examples

- Walt Whitman as a Voice for the People "The proof of a poet is that his country absorbs him as much as he absorbs his country." This brilliant quote from Walt Whitman thus ends his preface to Leaves of Grass, and thereafter begins the poem "Song of Myself." To many, upon their first reading, this was a crude, shocking and distasteful piece of work. but to me...this was a celebration of life. And not just a celebration of his own life, but of every life, of the American life. Walt Whitman is the "voice of the people" and this I believe because, while he did write of things that were not seen as aesthetically beautiful by many...including homosexuality, loneliness, and death....   [tags: Walt Whitman Essays]

Powerful Essays
1192 words (3.4 pages)

Walt Whitman's Relation to the Romantic Period Essay

- The time of Romanticism brought upon many trends extending from the idea of individualism as a rebellious separation from the classics, an idealistic outlook and finally to a strong religious base. Most of the writers of the Romantic period followed Pantheism "God is everything and everything is God ... the world is either identical with God or in some way a self-expression of his nature" (Owen 1971: 74). The idea of Pantheism was that everything in the world worked in unity. In some of the works of the Romantic period the expression of nature and humans are not separate entities, but one in the same....   [tags: Romanticism and Walt Whitman]

Powerful Essays
959 words (2.7 pages)

Essay about Walt Whitman's Influence on Germany

- Walt Whitman's Influence on Germany Walt Whitman (1819-1892) is considered to be one of the greatest American poets of the nineteenth century. While Edgar Allan Poe may have been more widely read, Whitman had more international writers actively respond to him and his poetry than any other American poet. A century after his death, writers around the world are still in dialogue with him, pondering the questions he posed, arguing with him and elaborating on his insights. People have been attracted to Whitman for numerous reasons....   [tags: Walt Whitman Germany Poetry Poets Essays]

Free Essays
5654 words (16.2 pages)

Essay on American Influences of Walt Whitman

- American Influences of Walt Whitman In his poems and life, Walt Whitman celebrated the human spirit and the human body. He sang the praises of democracy and marveled at the technological advances of his era. His direct poetic style shocked many of his contemporaries. This style, for which Whitman is famous, is in direct relation to several major American cultural developments. The development of American dictionaries, the growth of baseball, the evolution of Native American policy, and the development of photography all played a part and became essential components of Whitman’s poetry....   [tags: Walt Whitman Writers Poems Poetry Essays]

Powerful Essays
1460 words (4.2 pages)

Walt Whitman's Drum-Taps Essay

- Walt Whitman's Drum-Taps - The Personal Record of Whitman’s Wartime Experiences Walt Whitman is one of America’s most popular and most influential poets. The first edition of Whitman’s well-known Leaves of Grass first appeared in July of the poet’s thirty-sixth year. A subsequent edition of Leaves of Grass (of which there were many) incorporated a collection of Whitman’s poems that had been offered readers in 1865. The sequence added for the 1867 edition was Drum-Taps, which poetically recounts the author’s experiences of the American Civil War....   [tags: Walt Whitman Drum-Taps Essays]

Free Essays
995 words (2.8 pages)