Whitman And Ralph Waldo Emerson

Decent Essays

When talking about Ralph Waldo Emerson and Walt Whitman a similar question of “What came first the chicken or the egg?” comes to mind. Scholars may argue that without Emerson and his influential sermons and speeches that Walt Whitman would have never found his voice, but how can someone who so many consider one of the greatest poets of all time cease to exist? Ralph Waldo Emerson knew what he was doing when he published The Poet. It was an outcry for the American people to speak a truthful narrative about the human experience, warts and all. Ralph Waldo Emerson was an influential author and speaker, so when he wrote The Poet, Walt Whitman emerged and fulfilled his expectations after some hesitation from Emerson. Both authors paved the way for countless other writers and played a huge role in American culture and literature. While both authors have their respected writing styles, Walt Whitman found his voice through Emerson’s influence and responded to his call for American poets to step forth and show the world a new era of poetry and literature. Emerson had a specific idea of what poetry should be and although Whitman answered the call, he went in a different direction with his works and writing style. Poetry in light of European tradition was measured and fit strict guidelines. It had strong religious roots and it was more formal than the types of poetry we think of by today’s standards and even Emerson’s standards. European literature was heavily influenced by

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