Walt Whitman’s hard childhood influenced his work greatly, he was an uneducated man but he managed to become one of the most known poets. Whitman changed poetry through his work and is now often called the father of free verse. Especially through Leaves of Grass he expressed his feelings and sexuality to world and was proud of it. He had a different view at life, his hard childhood, and his sexuality that almost no one understood made him introduce a new universal theme to the world. Almost all critics agree that Walt Whitman was one of the most influential and innovative poet. Karl Shapiro says it best, “The movement of his verses is the sweeping movement of great currents of living people with general government and state”.
Whitman establishes a direct connection between the lyrical and the reader to get to each one of us. The power that the poem has and having Whitman writing it, rests on the ability of the author to separate himself amongst thousands, almost as a wonderful schizophrenia which allows you to view the world from certain points of view and understand it better than anyone.
“The real artist is in humanity, what are called bad manners are often the most picturesque and significant of them all”(http://www.egs.edu, ND,¶ 11) quotes Walt Whitman, one of the most outlandish and outspoken poets of his time. As a revolutionary of forward thinking Whitman received both praise and disdain from those around him. Though he didn’t create free verse poetry Whitman was a main proprietor for its rise in popularity during the late 1800’s. Whitman is often described as the father of free verse and modern poetry, his writing lacks all of the traditional earmarks from this time period and was one of the first to usher the unconventional style into popularity.
Walt Whitman was a man that served as a nurse helping wounded soldiers in the Civil War. While he was there, he took what he saw and wrote them in his poems. Every aspect of each poem related to the time that he was in and he wrote about every experience and feeling he had about what he saw. Whitman had three themes that he used to focus all of his poems on and these themes were individuality, democracy, and freedom. With writing with these themes, Whitman could make an impact on what the reader imagined in their head while reading and he was also able to convey a certain feeling through his poems that he wanted the reader to feel. Whitman had a unique style of writing, which was free verse. Through free verse, Whitman could direct and write a poem in a way that he liked and in a way where he was able to give more detail rather than writing in a rhythmic way. Through Walt Whitman’s themes of individuality, democracy, and freedom, Whitman was able to express his feelings about war and leaders in the poems that he wrote during the Civil War time.
Current, Richard N., Freidel, Frank, and Williams, T. Harry. American History: A Survey. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1971. Pages 292-293 Encyclopedia of Biography: Volume 16. "Walt Whitman." New York: Gale Research Publications, 1998. Pages 249-251 Kaplan, Justin. Walt Whitman: A Life. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1980. Pages 124-145, 202-222, 270-303 Lowen, Nancy. Voices in Poetry: Walt Whitman. Minnesota: Creative Editions, 1994 Various. A Treasury of the Worlds’ Best Loved Poems. New York: Avenel Books, 1951. Pages 143-161 Webster, Orville III. 50 Famous Americans. Los Angeles: JBG Publishing, 1991. Pages 122-124.
It is difficult to think of many major American poets who have not felt the need to produce their own long poem - and who have not felt that Whitman was looking over their shoulder as they wrote. Growing up without privilege did not dull his ability to decorate the written word from his varied experiences, and he forever strove to uncover the elusive meanings that he felt his readers deserved to know. These are the points that this paper has meant to communicate. Whitman truly placed his heart in his pen as few poets have. In short, it looks as though Whitman's haunting figure will remain a presence in American literature he will be lurking there, waiting to see if the "poets to come" live up to his expectations expressed in the "Inscription" poem addressed to them
Whitman’s work has an arguable style that makes his work appear as an egotistical piece of literature for some and others may find a different deeper meaning within his work. This work is an excellent example of patriotic work that attempts better its audience throughout by making revelations and comparisons of different idea and thoughts about the nation's people. Whitman illustrates his interpretation of what a kind of person is a great person is and how they go about life. He intends to make his audience better as a whole and understand the underlying problem that some have. Whitman's writing truly expresses his feelings about his time and what he expects from them for a better
Walt Whitman was an American poet, born in 1819. Whitman published a collection of poetry in which he outlined his democratic vision for America. Walt Whitman was credited with being the founder of a literature that was uniquely American. America was a very new country at this time, the Declaration of Independence, in which America claimed independence from England was signed in 1776 and was still quite recent. In 1781 America had proclaimed themselves as the First New Nation. They then began to create a culture that was uniquely American to give Americans a sense of nationalism. America had been influenced by English literature and now there was a search for a uniquely American literature. Walt Whitman took it upon himself to help to promote American identity. Whitman was very liberal as he was pro-homosexuality and an early supporter of women's equality. Whitman was also a passionate believer of an American Ideology that believed in American's exceptionalism. Whitman used his poetry to spread his democratic vision for America; there are many good examples of the theme of democracy in Whitman's poetry.
This list of qualities that define the greatest poet maintain that the poet does not know “pettiness or triviality” which creates an image in which the actions and work of the writer is defined through it’s importance in the subjects that are presented within their works. Whitman’s act of categorization creates a definition of the poet that portrays him as being wholly good and possessing the most important qualities that can be found in an individual. This is broadened to describe the American poet specifically in that they are known for their “generosity, affection, and for encouraging competitors” which reinforces the argument that they represent the icon of moral uprightness in
Whitman uses great craft in this poem to make the reader ponder so many different meanings of one simple object. Something like grass is so common that we don’t even realize that it really is everywhere around us. This poem is very meaningful because of its originality and the images and ideas really stick with the reader b...