Life After Death, Acknowledgment After Death

Topics: Poetry, Emily Dickinson, Writing Pages: 4 (1143 words) Published: October 5, 2010
Life after Death, Acknowledgment after Death

It’s odd to think that two of America’s most renowned poets of the 1800’s had never received the recognition they deserved till long after their deaths. This could have been due to their distinctive writing styles, rebellious to the 19th century transition between the literary concepts of Gothic Romanticism and Naturalism or Realism. The rhythm schemes, word play, and imagery of both these authors, was unlike any poetical works that readers of the day had been exposed to, hence making their writings later, by critics of this day-and-age, considered creatively distinguishing from their fellow poets of the time. But perhaps, most notable of all, the lack of appreciation they should have earned from their works, may have been due to both Emily Dickenson’s and Walt Whitman’s bizarrely unique views of the entity, Death.

To begin with, both these remarkable poets lived through the peaks of their careers during the later 1800’s. Dickenson, born December 10, 1830 in Amherst, Massachusetts, did not produce much of her more known works till her later years of life, eventually passing away May 16, 1886 without having published nearly any of her writings. Whitman was from Long Island, New York and lived from May 31, 1819 to March 26, 1892; but it wasn’t until nearly on his death bed did he finally consider his most notable collection of poetry, Leaves of Grass, complete. Dickenson as well as Whitman had written extensive treasuries of poems and essays but their entitled literary accreditation was to come after their time.

During the early to mid 19th century, Gothic Romanticism was the common writing style depicted in literary novels, short stories, and poetry. The mood portrayed through this style was darkly mysterious, oftentimes involving the absurdity of the unknown and supernatural. Later in the 1800’s literary works began embracing the everyday reality of the human being through Naturalism and Realism....
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