Walt whitman

Topics: Poetry, Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass Pages: 3 (1049 words) Published: April 3, 2014
Very few people will contest that Walt Whitman may be one of the most important and influential writers in American literary history and conceivably the single most influential poet. However many have claimed that Whitman’s writing is so free form as evident in his 1855 Preface to Leaves of Grass and Song of Myself that it has no style. The poetic structures he uses are unconventional but reflect his very democratic ideals towards America. Although Whitman’s writing does not include a structure that can be easily outlined, his writing conforms itself to no style, other then its own universal and free technique. Even though Whitman’s work does not lend itself to the conventional form of poetry in the way his contemporaries such as Longfellow and Whittier do, it holds a deliberate structure, despite its sprawling style of free form. When people say Whitman has no style, they are making a statement about his adherence to conventional standards of poetic form. Style, though, is something completely personal, not conventional. Whitman went outside of the conventional boundaries of poetic expression because he never followed the standards in rhyme and stanza form. Without a doubt they have, that defines them as great poets and gives them style. Whitman’s greatness lies in his divergence from what is normal, his individuality, not his strict adherence to the rules of past poets. The underlying style and structure of Whitman’s Leaves Of Grass is that like the leaves of grass the writing should take its own path, should form itself rather then the author forming it. The beauty behind the writing is that it flows freely because it was not forced to work together. Whitman’s poems without a doubt have a style and form to them even though it conforms to none of the rules by which poetry has ever been judged. When people say Whitman has no style, they are making a statement about his adherence to conventional standards of poetic form. Style, though, is something...
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