In these two pieces, commonalities can be seen, including the portrayal of man. Both Wordsworth and Whitman try to exemplify the experiences of the common man doing regular, everyday actions. According to D. J. Moores,
Wordsworth 's near preoccupation with the downtrodden -- beggars, idiots, shepherds, forsaken Indian women, and the like -- is informed by this sense of love and sympathy. He is attuned to humanity...He thus ‘poses himself,’ as Lance Massey has observed, ‘as the archetypal ‘“medicine man”’... Not coincidentally, Whitman is likewise the medicine man -- the shaman, as George Hutchinson calls him, whose purpose in a society is to heal.(“Wedded” 163-164).
Both Whitman and Wordsworth take on the idea that they are “medicine men” who are using their writing to show love and sympathy to the common, lower ...
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...nce points in a different direction.
All in all, Whitman’s “Song of Myself” and Wordsworth’s preface to Lyrical Ballads show the influence of Wordsworth’s ideas on Whitman through the use of the common experience and the language they utilized, even if their forms were slightly different. Wordsworth’s Romantic ideals are heavily integrated into Whitman’s poetry, especially in “Song of Myself.” Through this, the reader can better understand the roots of Whitman’s Leaves of Grass and where certain aspects of his poetry come from. Even in their differences, Whitman shows a great deal of borrowing from many of the ideas that William Wordsworth advocated for, like organic form. While they are not a hive mind, the influence of William Wordsworth on Walt Whitman is explicit, and it gives a greater background for the Romanticism that is held within the poetry of Walt Whitman.
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