Dickinson Vs. Whitman

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Dickinson vs. Whitman After receiving five years of schooling, Walt Whitman spent four years learning the printing trade; Emily Dickinson returned home after receiving schooling to be with her family and never really had a job. Walt Whitman spent most of his time observing people and New York City. Dickinson rarely left her house and she didn't associate with many people other than her family. In this essay I will be comparing Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman. Emily Dickinson's life differs greatly from the life of Walt Whitman, although they lived during the same time period. Walt Whitman published practically all his poetry during his lifetime, but Emily Dickinson only published seven of her poems during her lifetime. Actually, her poetry wasn't published until after her death. Both Whitman and Dickinson were poetic pioneers because of the new ideas they used in their poetry. Emily Dickinson did not write for an audience, but Walt Whitman wrote for an audience about several national events. The forms each poet used are different as well. The rhyme in the poetry by Whitman is drastically different from the poetry written by Dickinson, because Whitman didn't use any rhyme. Emily Dickinson grew up in Amherst, Mass, and Walt Whitman grew up in New York City, New York; this is one way that these poets' lives differ. The main people that influenced Emily Dickinson were Ralph Waldo Emerson and Emily Bronte. Walt Whitman was influenced by many people, some of which were: Elias Hicks, James Macpherson and William Shakespeare. Whitman read many book reviews by many people; from these, he realized Emerson was very influential. Whitman was also influenced by the Bible, his walks in New York City, Tom Paine, and a strong love for music. After Whitman started preparing to be a poet, he said he was merely "simmering," but the ideas of Emerson brought him to a "boil." Dickinson wasn't addressing anyone in particular through her poetry, but Whitman addressed the citizens of the United States, most of the time, through his writings. After reading "The Poet" by Emerson and seeing how he defined the role of the poet in democracy, Whitman was eager to assume that role. Whitma n loved to have his picture taken and there are many pictures of him. Dickinson only allowed her picture to be taken once and did so reluctantly. Neither Dickinson nor Whi... ... middle of paper ... ...n wrote about the Civil War. Dickinson often wrote about death and nature. The punctuation is drastically different as well. Whitman used mostly traditional punctuation in his poetry, but in the poem "Beat! Beat! Drums!" he used a big amount of dashes: "Beat! beat! drums!-blow! bugles! blow! Through the windows-through the doors-burst like a ruthless force." Dickinson used a form of punctuation unique to her poetry as well as capitalization. She used irregular capitalization to emphasize certain words for example, in the poem "This is My Letter to the World," she capitalized the words, World, Me, News, Nature, Majesty, Message, Hands, Her, and Sweet. She did this because those things were important to her. Walt Whitman's and Emily Dickinson's lives were very different, although they lived during the same time period. Each poet chose to be around certain people and things. Those people and things they chose to be around greatly influenced their poetry. The forms and subjects are different because they liked writing about things that happened in their lives. They are both innovators in poetry because they chose to change common things in writing poetry.

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