Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson

Topics: Poetry, Literature, Allen Ginsberg Pages: 2 (808 words) Published: October 23, 2012
Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson both had different and similar views, which influenced how they wrote their poetry. Their social context, life experiences, and gender are reflected in their poetry. Emily Dickinson focused a lot on death and her struggles of being a woman during her time. Her poems often described the inner state of mind. Waltman attempted to combine universal themes with individual feelings and experiences, such as his personal experiences with the Civil War. Whitman and Dickinson are two great poets who both were very similar but different in more ways than one, and they were both very influenced by who they were, and their life experience. Their poems were both “small in theme yet has it the sweep of the universe.”

In Whitman’s poem “A Noiseless Patient Spider”, in this poem Whitman uses personification when talking about a spider, which is a metaphor for his soul. “A noiseless patient spider,I mark'd where on a little promontory it stood isolated.” It represents how a spider is alone, how it tries to reach out to it’s web but it never connects with anything. He feels he is alone, he just wants somebody and he tries to reach out, but no one is there. “Mark'd how to explore the vacant vast surrounding.”He also says how he is surrounded by people, but somehow still feels alone, and that he has nobody. He uses the spider to personify who he is and how he feels in life. They way he gives the spider feelings of being patient, which means the spider is calm and willing to wait, that’s called personification, he uses it to help us see the spider. The way the spider keeps trying to build it’s web is tedious and repetitive, this represents how lonely, and tedious repetitive work is like. “And you O my soul where you stand, Surrounded, detached, in measureless oceans of space.” Whitman talks about the spider in the first half, and his soul in the second half. The way he talks about his soul, is a form of personification.

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