Walt Whitman

Topics: Poetry, United States, Walt Whitman Pages: 2 (580 words) Published: April 22, 2012
Walt Whitman
Whitman’s different views of writing

Walt Whitman is one of the first great American poets. He was born in 1819 on Long Island and he was one of ten children. Whitman only went to school for a few years until he turned eleven and concluded formal schooling. He then attempted to find work to support his future family. He found a job as an office boy and then moved on to be an apprentice with a local paper where he learned all about the printing press. The following summer he joined a different paper called the New York Mirror where he published some of his earliest works of poetry. As Whitman’s work has grown with techniques such as free verse, parallelism, repetition, imagery, and symbolism so have his views of democracy, the human body, Abraham Lincoln, and race and diversity in America.

Whitman imagined democracy as a way of interpersonal interaction and as a way for individuals to integrate their beliefs into their everyday lives. “Song of Myself” notes that democracy must include all individuals equally, or else it will fail (sparknotes). Whitman envisioned democracy not just as a political system but as a way of experiencing the world. Since Whitman was having controversies with vulgar language in his writings he had some experience dealing with the government and democracy while trying to get his work published back in the nineteenth century.

Walt Whitman is a lover of the human body and how it works. A lot of his poetry is about the human body and how sacred he thought it was. In "I Sing the Body Electric" Whitman records his delightand delight is too weak a termat the wondrous qualities of the human body. "If anything is sacred the human body is sacred" he writes, "And if the body were not the soul, what is the soul?" The reader encounters in "Body Electric" Whitman's profound love of bodily flesh. Always a central element in Whitman's ecstatic imagination, the body is here as the central subject of the poem (helium).

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