Walt Whitman vs Emily Dickinson

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Jason R Sayles
Professor Mark McGrath
Literature
3-10-2013
Emily Dickinson vs. Walt Whitman
During the time in American history known as the romantic period, two poets began to stray from the traditional methods of writing poetry. These poets were Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson. These two poets led different lifestyles. Oddly enough, there writing was very similar besides having different lengths. “Whitman's poem "Song of Myself, No.6" and Dickinson's poem "This quiet Dust was Gentlemen and Ladies" are examples of pieces which, on the surface, appear completely different, but in fact contain several similarities. Indeed, several similarities and differences can be found between these two poems”. “While these works by Whitman and Dickinson are different in many ways, a few similarities can be found between the two. The most obvious of these similarities involves the themes and subject matter of the pieces”. They both present that life is constant, and that you’re never forgotten when you die. “Each also suggests that Earth is a living thing which all humans are a piece of in both life and death”. Whitman gives the reader a clear concise and descriptive poem. Dickinson personifies her poem which helps bring her poem to life, and gives the reader more interest, and with that you can see how similar in a sense these poets are with their writing. Though these similarities do exist, there are also several quite obvious differences between the two. The first thing that is different is the length. “While Whitman's "Song of Myself" is quite lengthy, giving detailed and wordy descriptions, Dickinson's "This quiet dust was Gentlemen and Ladies" is much more concise and to the point. While Whitman tends to leave little to the imagination, Dickinson uses very few, carefully selected words, forcing the reader contemplate the meaning of the poem and create his own image of the scene being described”. Another difference between the two would be how they make...
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