Death, a Theme in Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman´s Poetry

1145 WordsJun 23, 20185 Pages
Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson’s poetry is very different; however death seems to be a familiar topic amongst both poets. Opposites attract, and you could say the same for Whitman and Dickinson because though they have different writing styles both repeatedly write about death. Once more, although both Whitman and Dickinson have many different feelings about death, they also share many similar feelings about it as well. Although Walt Whitman's poetry is rather long and quite simple and Emily Dickinson's are often short and complex, the theme of death strongly ties their works together. To begin with, both Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson spoke about not only a person dying, but the people who were left to live through that person’s…show more content…
“And as to you Corpse I think you are good manure, / but that does not offend me / I smell the white roses sweet-scented and growing, / I reach to the leafy lips, / I reach to the polish’d breasts of melons” (Whitman “Song of Myself” Lines 1291-1293). Whitman knows that something amazing happens to the ones who die. Emily Dickinson on the other hand, remains either apathetic or has a negative opinion on death. “Or rather, he passed us / The dews grew quivering and chill / For only gossamer my gown / My tippet only tulle” (Dickinson “Because I Could Not Stop For Death” Lines 13-16). Dickinson admits that she is afraid of death. The quivering and chill is describing that death is cold hearted, and gossamer is covering her. If death were so nice, then he wouldn’t have such a creepy image and Dickinson would be describing her trip with him like a trip through a haunted house. She is afraid of him at this point. Though Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson may share different opinions about dying, they both know that death is inevitable and they will have their time one as well. Furthermore, in a sense Whitman and Dickinson both believe in immortality; however Whitman believes in a true life after death whereas Dickinson is unsure about it. “What do you think has become of the young and old men? / And what do you think has become of the women and children? / They are alive and well somewhere / The smallest sprout shows
Open Document