Nineteenth century poet Walt Whitman lived and wrote in a fascinating time period and changed the literary world, all while experiencing a unique American war first hand. A humanitarian as well as a writer, Whitman volunteered as a nurse during the Civil War where he experienced the horrors of mortality, yet felt spiritually content afterwards as well. His frequent interactions with the wounded and sick would further alter his poetry and life, in a way where he would be able to cope with his time spent among the battle. Traumatized by the aftermath of the brutal war, Whitman used his writing as a reflection of his mind and life as his involvement in both the depravity and nobility of human existence absorbed into every aspect of his spirit.
Walt Whitman was an American poet and journalist born on May 31, 1819. Whitman was influenced by transcendentalism, which was an idea emphasizing that to understand nature, one must analyze the reasoning or process behind it. Whitman had done many writings throughout his life that had been inspirations for other poets. For example, in the spring of 1855, Whitman published “Leaves of Grass”, which was a collection of twelve unnamed poems. This writing was enticed by Ralph Waldo Emerson, who thought that the collection of poems were “the most extraordinary piece of wit and wisdom.” Many people throughout the century noticed the ideologies that Whitman portrayed in his writings, and it is still evident today. In “Fahrenheit 451”, Ray Bradbury
We are able to see this when Whitman says “The boatman singing what belongs to him in his boat, the deckhand singing on the steamboat deck, The shoemaker singing as he sits on his bench, the hatter singing as he stands”(Whitman, 5-7). That quote shows how the people like doing there job. But in the poem “I, Too” it talks about racism and how he is going to overcome it, we can see this when Hughes states “Besides, They’ll see how beautiful I am And be ashamed(15-17)” this shows that he doesn 't care about what they think about him because he know that he is beautiful. This shows how the two poems are different by how they both have different stories and meanings behind the writing. They are different stories because the two talk about two different things like in “I Hear America Singing,” Whitman talks about how everyone loves what they do and want to sing because of it while in the poem “I, Too,” Hughes writes about racism and how he can overcome it, which shows how different the two poems
Oh Life!” is a poem written by Walt Whitman that describes Whitman’s struggle in figuring out what his purpose on earth is. The poem’s first line states “Oh me! Oh life! of the questions of these recurring,” (1) In this line, Whitman is showing that he is questioning what he is doing with his life and what it’s grand purpose is. The next line states “Of the endless trains of the faithless, of cities fill’d with the foolish,” (2) in this line, Whitman is explaining how he is constantly surrounded by people who do not understand who he is or what he wants. The poem continues with the next line that states, “Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I, and who more faithless?)” (3). Whitman is talking about how he is not faithful or smart enough to judge other people for their flaws. The next line states “Of eyes that vainly crave the light, of the objects mean, of the struggle ever renew’d,” (4) This line means that people selfishly seek out worldly possessions and that this occurrence seems to be a never-ending cycle in the world. The next line states “Of the poor results of all, of the plodding and sordid crowds I see around me,” (5) Whitman is saying that he sees countless people and yet, they are each boring or immoral and have nothing to show for their life. The poem continues with the line “Of the empty and useless years of the rest, with the rest me intertwined,” (6) this line means that Whitman feels as if he wasted so much of his life
There are very many themes and each of those themes can be interpreted very differently by both the writer and the reader. American romantic poets Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman wrote on the same topics and themes of romanticism, but they had very different views. Emily Dickinson was put away by society, so she cut herself off completely from the unjust and stark society. Walt Whitman on the other hand loved how diverse society and how anyone has the freedom to choose their path. Additionally when everyone’s song is combined it creates a beautiful melody. Emily Dickinson had multiple views on death. At first she was in love with the peaceful, gentle side of death, but that all changed when she lost her everything, her parents to death. The significance is that Romanticism is a diverse thing and it can be shaped a formed to the writers likings, but it will only have an effect if the reader interprets the poem in the same
One way that Whitman conveys his poetry is through the eyes of the everyday man. In this period of American history, the civil war was ongoing, and his poetry did not shy away from the everyday
Everyone says it. Your mom, your teachers, even your friends. Everyone encourages you to just be yourself, but if you think about how individuals are shunned, does anyone actually want you to be different? While society claims to encourage individuality, in reality it compels people to conform, causing most people to sacrifice their individuality to fit in.
Langston Hughes uses images of oppression to reveal a deeper truth about the way minorities have been treated in America. He uses his poems to bring into question some of Walt Whitman’s poems that indirectly state that all things are great, that all persons are one people in America, which Hughes claims is false because of all the racist views and oppression that people face from the people America. This oppression is then used to keep the minorities from
Throughout his poem, he constantly talks about the importance of coming together and merging. Whitman says, “I celebrate myself, and sing myself, And what I assume you shall assume, For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you” (Whitman 1). On the surface, this quote may appear to illustrate that Whitman thinks highly of himself, but it is more than this. The last part of this quote emphasizes that we are all connected and even though we are all individuals, we should not forget that we are connected to one another. Whitman also says, “Urge and urge and urge, Always the procreant urge of the world. Out of the dimness opposite equals advance… Always substance and increase, Always a knit of identity… always distinction… always a breed of life” (Whitman 2). Whitman is saying that the more you merge with others, the more you become yourself. You also need to make sure to retain your identity while merging, but merging is one of the best ways to retain your identity. This presents a paradox, but ultimately, as long as you do not lose yourself, merging is encouraged because it allows you to retain your identity even more
This poem was viewed as unorthodox when published because of its free discussion and exploration of the body. In the second stanza, Whitman clarifies that he is writing about both the male and the female body, saying, “that of the male, and that of the female is perfect” (Whitman 94). By joining the two clauses by “and”, it demonstrates equality since he is displaying the physical words, “male” and “female” on equal terms. This was a radical point of view during Whitman 's time, when women were accepted as socially, and sexually inferior to
His works are full of realistic qualities. Moreover, they are long with deep messages, as well as well-structured and detailed. Furthermore, his poems are democratic both subject and the language which shows how intellectual was his imaginary and visual style of writing. To both Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman, the individualism in society has a huge importance which, at the same time, inspired their style of writing. Also, they accept the importance of God in connection with nature and immortality. Emily’s poems are often stressful and depressing while Whitman’s poetry is graceful and candid. In addition, Whitman’s poetic style is opened while Dickinson is rather private and
By doing this Whitman introduces himself and at the same time identifies with the reader. He also states that he should be celebrated not only by himself, but also by the reader because they are the same. He also gives off a feeling that his writing is true and good, we get the feeling he is one of us and at the same time a poet. This leads to comparing Whitman with a preacher or public speaker of some sort, he wishes to be
It delineates the difficulty of human life and how hopeless it can be. Imagery is frequently used diction in this poem which is “A Noiseless Spider.” Whitman uses various imagery to symbolize how speaker feels and he represents the spider as his soul. The first line of the poem, “A Noiseless Patient Spider” gives image of motionless spider, alone and isolated with no sign of life. Walt Whitman fascinatedly starts describing his experience of watching the spider weaving its web in the first stanza. The fourth line of this poem, “It launch’d forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself” further evokes the repetition of the efforts and he is stuck doing the same thing for the rest of his life. The speaker elevates these images to metaphor in his second stanza of his poem.
In this grand poem, Whitman glorifies the unity of all people and life. He embraces the geographical diversity as well as the diversity of culture, work, as well as sexuality or beliefs. Whitman’s influence sets American dreams of freedom, independence, and self-fulfillment, and changes them for larger spiritual meaning. Whitman appreciates hard work as well as being simple and non-egotistical. His major ideas are things such as soul, good health, as well as the love of nature. Whitman 's idea of equality is so strong that he even devotes the very first lines of Song of Myself to it. He
It is common for a person to admire the stars in the sky. Their brightness and arrangement is a fascinating sight, of course. On the other hand, people tend to forget or plainly ignore what is right under their feet. In “Song of Myself,” Walt Whitman focused on what he thought was truly important, details of the green grass. Whitman wrote, “I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey work of the stars” (663). This explains how he believed that the stars and the grass should be thought of as equal and man should show appreciation for grass as well. Moreover, Whitman implies that because the grass is so close in terms of touch, humans should enjoy it more since stars are completely out of reach. As it is evident that Whitman appreciates