Dickinson vs Whitman Essay

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Dickinson vs Whitman Two Poets, Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson are probably two of the most influential people in American poetry. They are regarded as the founders modern American poetry. Walt Whitman (1819-1892), for the time was breaking new ground with his diverse, energetic verse with regards to subject matter, form and style whether talking about overlooked objects in nature such as a single blade of grass or even our own hearing. Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) while living a life of seclusion, never really leaving her birthplace, was very adventurous internally. She was well read in English literature, often deeply exploring her own thoughts. While Dickinson and Whitman are referred to as the founders of modern American …show more content…
In Crossing Brooklyn Ferry Whitman attempts to transcend time and place, “The similitudes of the past and those of the future”. This becomes even more apparent when the second stanza is read, when he speaks of others, “Others will enter the gates of the ferry and cross from shore to shore, Others will watch the run of the flood-tide, Others will see the shipping of Manhattan north and west, and the heights of Brooklyn to the south and east. It is here that Whitman directly engages his audience and later he says, “ Just as you feel when you look on the river and sky, so I felt”. He strives to break down boundaries, abolish differences, and eliminate separateness. Whitman is speaking directly to us, here and now, generations later. He is also quite clear on what direction he wants us to go as he maps it out smoothly with his words. Emily Dickinson, however, in contrast does not lay out such a clear path with her words. She plants them in the audiences’ mind instead, like a seed, where, when given some thought it will grow and possibly then be understood. After great pain, a formal feeling comes is a good example of how she is not quite as clear as Whitman is. She writes “The stiff Heart questions was it he, that bore, And yesterday, or centuries before? The reader can not gain a sense of what exactly she is talking about. “This is the hour of
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