Nobody and Somebody

Topics: Walt Whitman, Poetry, Ezra Pound Pages: 2 (494 words) Published: December 12, 2010
Nobody and Somebody
Everyone has different views of life. In our real society, there are people who want to be somebody, and people who just want to be nobody. From the songs of Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson, we can see how they choose to become somebody or nobody. Walt Whitman in “Song of myself” presents a large American persona while Emily Dickinson in [I’m Nobody! Who are you?] presents a smaller persona. First of all, in “Song of myself,” Walt Whitman keeps the poem long and looks complicated, but in “[I’m Nobody! Who are you?],” Emily Dickinson just tries to make the poem short and simple. In Whitman’s poem, it totally has 52 separate sections and is comprised of 1,346 lines. However, compared to the Whitman’s poem, Dickinson’s poem only divides into two sections and it includes 4 lines of each section. In addition, each sentence of the Whitman’s song is composed of more than 10 words. On the other hand, in Dickinson’s poem, each sentence is composed of no more than 7 words. Therefore, from the structures of two poems, we can see Whitman and Dickinson are entirely opposite. Second, while Walt Whitman's voice is quite loud, clear, and boastful in “Song of myself,” Emily Dickinson's voice is quiet and modest “[I’m Nobody! Who are you?].” In her poem, it is obviously that he is very pound of himself. One of the evidences is that he names the poem, “Song of Myself.” On the first sentence of the first stanza, he says “I celebrate myself” (Lauter 1225).From this note, Whitman creates his own image that he is great and he implies his life is so important. On the other hands, Dickinson tends to hide herself. In the topic of her poem, “[I’m Nobody! Who are you?], ” it clearly tells us that she describes herself as nobody. Next, Walt Whitman has a greater sense of his own value and importance than Emily Dickinson does. Next, Walt Whitman describes he is somebody in “Song of myself,” but Emily Dickinson tends to become nobody in “[I’m Nobody! Who are you?].”...

Cited: Lauter, Paul, ed. The Health Anthology of American Literature: Concise Edition. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004.
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