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In American History, there were several poets who began to write differently than people had written before. Their writing style was more modern; they broke with traditional styles. Among these poets were Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson. They used these new writing styles to express uniquely American ideas. Although both Whitman and Dickinson are considered modern writers, their writings can be compared and contrasted in many ways. There are by far more differences in the writing styles of Whitman and Dickinson than there are similarities. One difference is the way they structured their poems. Basically, the structures of Whitman's poem is the lack of any structure. Whitman's poems tend to run on and on; there was no set length for his poems, stanzas, or even lines. Dickinson, on the other hand, wrote poems with a definite structure. She wrote ballad stanzas, which were four line stanzas alternating in iambic tetrameter and trimeter. So the structure of their poems is very different. Another difference between their poetry is the use of rhyme. As with structure, Whitman's poetry has no rhyme. In this way Whitman also breaks from tradition. Dickinson's poems, unlike Whitman's, made use of slant rhyme. This is the use of near or approximate rhymes, and is a relatively modern idea. One similarity, on the other hand, is their use of modern ideas and concepts in their poetry. One of the poetic "tools" which Whitman used is cataloging, or enumeration. This was simply making a list of things in his poetry. An example of this can be found in "Song of Myself" where Whitman lists all the people that he is, such as "A learner with the simplest, a teacher of the thought fullest, A novice beginning . . . a farmer, mechanic, artist, gentleman, sailor . . .". One of Dickinson's modern "tools" was her use of startling imagery. An example of this can be found in "Because I could not stop for Death," in which she personifies death as a courteous carriage driver. Though standing...
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