How do Walt Whitman (in the selections from "Song of Myself") and Adrienne Rich (in the selection from "An Atlas of the Difficult World" and the poem "Cartographies of Silence") express in their poetry what Diane Middlebrook calls a new sense of "the common world of Americans."?
In order to develop this paper it is necessary to talk about Walt Whitman’s poetry. Whitman had become a notable poet by the time the United States discussed against slavery by 1860; in the edition of 1855 of Leaves of Grass Walt Whitman expressed his determination to elevate, exalt, purify and celebrate the natural attributes of body and the soul of man. His poetry resembles a conference or essays sometimes accompanied by oratory resources such as aphorisms, rhetoric questions, alliterations and parenthesis in order to provide his poetry with cohesion: ideas developed through analogies, narrative fragments, and contrasts. His form was the free verse.
He not only did not follow any of the conventions of versification and style - he was closely related to a common speech-, and added unpretentious words and avoided excessive figurative language and phrases, such as: “the young men float on their backs, their white bellies bulge to the / sun, the do not ask who seizes fast to them”. He did not exclude anyone from his poetry; women and man alike. Whitman may be taken by modern and contemporary readers as a man with a message, bard-wise singing orator, as a man who experiments with poetry and prose and combines them with words of common use. He is a precursor of modern poetry and influence to feminist writers such as Adrienne Rich.
Adrienne Rich addressee is women; she also seeks to establish equality between men and women in every social level: politics, culture, sexual life and equality in work; in “An Atlas of the Difficult World she breaks with a taboo in regard of sexuality: “before running up / the stairs / toward a new kind of love / your life has never allowed.”...
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