Walt Whitman was born in 1819 to a hardworking family with seven brothers and sisters, and by the time he was 20 he picked up a job in journalism. He began traveling around the nation in 1850, which was when he realized how vast the United States really was. As he worked, he secretly was writing a collection of poems that he would hope to someday publish. Publishers turned down his work, so he became self-published in 1855 with the collection titled Leaves of Grass. The very first publication only contained 12 poems, and the final edition done in 1891 contained over 300 of his poems. The poems did not receive the desired amount of attention in the first publication because it was, “considered too radical by many,” (Christenbury 507) so he sent out a few to people who might have taken interest in them, including Ralph ...
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...ways they both made a risk in tearing down the traditional borders that previously defined poetry. Walt Whitman was raised without many boundaries, and traveled across the United States experiencing new people, places, and important events that formed the identity of the nation. Everything about that demonstrates why he wrote in loose, unbounded manner, and why he wrote about the topics that he did. Emily Dickinson lived the farthest opposite life of Whitman’s as she became a hermit and wrote poetry in seclusion. Her conservative, religious, and solitary life shows through in her poetry as it is more from an observational perspective, and the structure and flow are so neat and proper. Even with their diverse sense of writing, Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman helped create the movement toward modern American poetry, and their poems are still held in high regards today.
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