Compare The Difference Between Walt Whitman And Emily Dickinson

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The poets Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson changed the world of poetry in the mid-nineteenth century with their profoundly different styles. Poetry before Whitman and Dickinson had the diction and poetic form of the contemporary British models, but a movement towards a strictly American expression in writing started to appear in the 1800s. Both poets broke free from the traditional styles with their own very distinctive techniques. Walt Whitman created a name for himself through his long, winding poems that seemed to lack structure and rhyme. Emily Dickinson kept a fixed structure in her poems and used slant rhymes, which was a change from that found in previous styles of poetry. While Whitman and Dickinson had extremely dissimilar personalities…show more content…
Whitman was by far more outgoing compared to Dickinson. He traveled the country learning about the diversity of people and places, while she decided that since she would never marry that she would remain at home, almost like a hermit. Whitman was trying to get his poetry collection published and shown to the world, and Dickinson was content keeping her poetry to herself for the most part and it was not published until after she died. His poetry is free, long, and has no structure pattern or rhyme, which contrasts drastically with her conservative style of 4 line stanzas, near rhyme, and not typically of great length. The writing styles seem to be directly correlated to they way they were brought up. Whitman had more of a focus on nationalism and travel, giving way to the human-centered poems and the wild nature of them. Dickinson was a well-to-do girl raised in a traditionalist and religious household, demonstrating that even though she broke free from the old-fashioned way of poetry she still kept form and language proper. The poets are so different because of the lifestyles that they chose to live, and their personalities. Their personalities show through the poems. These differences took them down separate paths in their journey to modern…show more content…
Though they wrote in completely different styles, and regarded their similar themes in alternate 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

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