Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson
In America’s history, there have been so many writers, but only few are known for changing the course of American literature. Two writers that fit this description are Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman. These two poets have different styles of writing but possess the same themes from the social environment that they are surrounded in. The poetry reflects these poets’ personality and their own style of writing. Whitman had an outgoing personality, while Dickinson had a quiet and reserved approach to writing.
Walt Whitman, born on May 31st, 1819 is said to be way ahead of his time. He had the better of two worlds growing up. He experienced nature, but he was close enough to the city to see the industrialization of Brooklyn, New York. Walt attended school until the age of 11, then he went on to be an office clerk, and even taught school. Emily Dickinson was born in 1830 to a religious family from New England. Emily learned to cook and sew as girls were often taught at her age. She attended boarding school surrounded by girls with high spirits who loved to have fun. Emily quoted about her personality, “A mourner among the children” (372).
Even though these two poets are from the same time frame, they each had diversified influences. Some of Whitman’s influences include Sir Walter Scott, t...
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..., while Dickinson fulfilled them. The book says this of Dickinson; “She perceived the relationship between a drop of dew and a flood, between a desert and a grain of sand. These perceptions helped her make metaphors that embraced experiences far beyond the limited compass of Amherst village life” (373). The literature book says this of Whitman, “Suddenly, poetry was no longer a matter of organized word structures that neatly clicked shut at the last line;” (350). Even though these two writers were so different in so many ways, they obtained what the other had not done. Whitman popularized free verse, while Dickinson cherished the use of metaphors and ideas of comparing two like things to make a deeper meaning to everything in life.
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