Henry David Thoreau 's Poetry Essay

Henry David Thoreau 's Poetry Essay

Length: 704 words (2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Whitman claimed that he had started writing in 1847, but his work consisted mainly of random thoughts and unofficial lines (Lewis). His first notes contained of flashes of illumination and reflections on his personal relationship with the world around him. He lacked a specific form in his poetry and regarded poets before him as negative examples (Lewis). He shared Henry David Thoreau’s belief that poetry should act as a “healthy speech,” as he invented a style of writing that was appropriate for his work’s content (Lewis).
During the spring of 1855, Whitman began writing, revising, and proof reading his work. In May, he registered the title Leaves of Grass and settled copyright notices. He wrote, designed, produced, published, and promoted Leaves of Grass which served as the center of the poet’s life for nearly forty years (Lewis). Whitman worked tirelessly and sent a copy of Leaves of Grass to Ralph Waldo Emerson, who replied in a five-page tribute to the work, stating that Whitman was at the beginning of a great literary career. However, Whitman received a significant amount of criticism, especially in response to the underlying sexual themes presented in his work.
As a result of Emerson’s positive feedback, a Boston publisher offered to print Whitman’s second edition of Leaves of Grass. Although Emerson suggested editing sexually suggestive themes out of the second edition to make it more appealing to the public, Whitman ignored his advice and stated his work would have to stand in its original form. After adding 124 new poems to the updated version, the second edition was published.
In February, 1861, Whitman saw Abraham Lincoln, who inspired him to take an interest in the Civil War (Lewis). He enlisted in the military a...


... middle of paper ...


...uths; as he emphasizes his personal connection with all other aspects of culture and society. He continues to express the interconnectedness of humanity by explaining that everyone was born from the earth and procreated. For example, all individuals come from two parents, have the opportunity to grow and succeed, and then experience death. Every person has a similar experience to his own, and therefore shares the same human experience.
Comparatively to Whitman’s poem “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry,” the narrator in “Song of Myself” is admiring the unique characteristics associated with individuality, while attempting to identify common traits among all of humanity. Even though he is reflecting on his personal perspective and experiences in life, all individuals can relate to his writing, as it defines the egocentric but united culture present in American society (Lewis).

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay about Henry David Thoreau : Civil Disobedience

- When thinking of Henry David Thoreau, the first thing that comes to mind is his award-winning book Walden or essay “Civil Disobedience”, both pinnacles of the transcendentalist philosophy of the time. In learning more about their author, however, it is important to look at his earlier works, more specifically, his poetry. Henry David Thoreau’s naturalistic poetry reflects his transcendentalistic ideology that arose from his close relationship with Ralph Waldo Emerson and his time spent immersing himself in nature....   [tags: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau]

Better Essays
1683 words (4.8 pages)

Essay on The Accomplishments Of Henry David Thoreau

- Henry David Thoreau was born on July 12th, in Concord Massachusetts. Thoreau was many things, not simply just a writer; but he was one of the most influential writers America knows today. Early on in his life he grew up in a simple home with hard-working parents, and an abundance of siblings. His father and mother both had worked as teachers as well as investing in many other trades to get by. Henry started developing his talent for writing early on, by age ten he had written his first piece of writing, “The Seasons,” as well as many other academic achievements for somebody his age....   [tags: Henry David Thoreau, Walden, Concord]

Better Essays
1471 words (4.2 pages)

Essay on A Good Investment By Henry David Thoreau

- A Good Investment Henry David Thoreau was born in 1817. He grew up in Concord, Massachusetts with three siblings. He attended Harvard College where he graduated from in 1837. After graduating from college, Thoreau wasn’t sure what he wanted to do. He was close to his brother who later died after cutting himself while shaving (Henry). He later started working with his father at the pencil factory that his father operated. In the 1840s he began to write poetry (Bio.com). In class we learned in 1845 Thoreau built a small shack on Walden Pond where he stayed for over two years to do some writing....   [tags: Henry David Thoreau, Walden, Concord]

Better Essays
885 words (2.5 pages)

David Henry Thoreau 's Civil Disobedience And Other Essays

- Next, we have David Henry Thoreau who wrote Civil Disobedience and Other Essays. In his famous speech, “Slavery in Massachusetts,” Thoreau is seen as a strident speaker in his opposition to slavery, overall not representing the prevailing view at the time and wanting to bring light to a new viewpoint. He is seen as the conscience of our nation through his goal of the betterment of mankind, overall wanting to create more humane ways in society, establish truth, and eliminate governmental inequity....   [tags: Henry David Thoreau, United States]

Better Essays
1100 words (3.1 pages)

Essay about Thoreau 's Adherence Of A Higher Law

- Thoreau’s Adherence to a Higher law As one of the most well-known authors of the nineteenth century, Henry David Thoreau wrote and inspired many poetic works we recognize as “classics”. He lived during the height of transcendentalism and eventually became a major contributor to its cause. Thoreau accomplished this magnificent feat through his short writings and his poetry. As such a significant writer in American literature, Thoreau, like any great writer, explored many topics and ideas in his work such as religion, and nature....   [tags: Henry David Thoreau, Transcendentalism]

Better Essays
1092 words (3.1 pages)

Essay on Henry David Thoreau and Romanticism

- Romanticism is an effect that emanated from the historic concept of Enlightenment, an idea that largely focused on logic and order. During the Romantic era, emphasis was laid on emotion, imagination, and intuition as the main features of writing. Most literatures during the time were sentimental in their content and written to try to transcend reality. Romanticism disregards civilization and instead attaches much significance to the common man, individualism, and most importantly, nature. This paper looks into the way in which the idea of nature is perceived by Romanticism and how the view is brought out in Henry David Theoreau’s book, Walden....   [tags: post-Age of Enlightment literature]

Better Essays
542 words (1.5 pages)

Henry David Thoreau: Transcendentalist Writer Essay

- Henry David Thoreau was a nineteenth century American author who lived during the height of Transcendentalism. He became an important contributor to this movement (“H. D. T.” Poetry Foundation). Thoreau received much information about this movement from Emerson, a noteworthy friend of Thoreau. Thoreau wrote many significant works in American literature, including Walden and “Civil Disobedience.” The works of Henry David Thoreau were strongly influenced by the Transcendentalist movement and centered around his stay at Walden Pond....   [tags: biography, civil disobedience, emerson ]

Better Essays
2020 words (5.8 pages)

Transcendental Movement: Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau Essay

- To trace the origin of the Transcendental movement one needs to go back to the city of Concord, Massachusetts. There during the early 19th century many well-known and world-renowned authors were following the practices of one man, Ralph Waldo Emerson. Emerson, who was considered America's first philosopher, had earlier traveled to Europe and became fascinated by the concepts of one German philosopher known as Kant. According to Emerson's understanding of Kant, there were two pure objects in the world in which are the bases of everything, nature and soul....   [tags: Emerson and Thoreau Essays]

Free Essays
650 words (1.9 pages)

Henry David Thoreau Essay

- Henry David Thoreau Henry David Thoreau was a man who expressed his beliefs of society, government, and mankind while living under his own self-criticism. Thoreau believed he had many weaknesses which made him a failure. This strong disapproval of himself contrasted with his powerful words and strong actions. These contradictions led to some of Thoreau's greatest pieces of literature. Henry David Thoreau was born in Concord, Massachusetts on July 12, 1817, in his grandmother's house. Thoreau believed that Concord was, "the most estimable place in all the world, and in the very nick of time, too" (Harding 4)....   [tags: Papers]

Better Essays
3356 words (9.6 pages)

Henry David Thoreau Essays

- Henry David Thoreau is a man of many facets; a man who refuses to conform to what the masses believe is acceptable. He calls for the rejection of complexity and for a change in mankind’s view of life. Thoreau, in his many writings, demands change in a stagnant society. He emphasizes respect for nature, even to the point of blatant disrespect for humanity. Thoreau’s connection to nature was a key ingredient in his lifestyle. He studied ants closely; hoping to understand them like one understands the human race....   [tags: essays research papers]

Better Essays
476 words (1.4 pages)