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Walt Whitman Essay Examples | Kibin
Walt Whitman, an American poet was one of the most significant writers of his time period. His poetry influenced many poets after him and is also considered "the father of free verse" Although the time period that Walt Whitman was writing in was a time period of transition from Transcendentalism and Realism, Whitman expressed both Realism and Transcendentalism in his work. Realism is accepting situations the way they are and preparing to deal with the outcome of them, realism is specific information and details. Writes that are realists often write about history and their past life experiences. On the other hand, transcendentalism is the idea that spiritual reality and knowledge transcends scientific reality and knowledge.
The poem "Crossing the Brooklyn Ferry" is a strong example of how Walt Whitman expresses Realism and Transcendentalism in his work. The following quotation from likes 23-27 demonstrates an example of realism in the poem:
"Just as you feel when you look on the river and sky, so I felt,
Just as any of you is one of a living crowd, I was one of a crowd,
Just as you are refreshed by the gladness of the river and the bright flow, I was refreshed,
Just as you stand and lean on the rail, yet hurry with the swift current, I stood yet was hurried,
Just as you look on the numberless masts of ships and the thick-stemmed pipes of steamboats,
These lines show realism because Walt Whitman uses imagery with natural and unnatural elements put the reader into his life and the way he felt as he was on the ferry. Another quotation from lines 60-63 expresses realism. "I too lived Brooklyn, of ample hills, was mine; I too walk'd the streets of Manhattan Island, and bathed in the waters around it; I too felt the curious abrupt questionings stir within me," This quotation illustrates Whitman's use of Realism because it shows that everything was real, Walt Whitman did walk the streets of Manhattan Island and he di...
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In most of his poetry, Walt Whitman emphasizes the significance of the individual and the importance of humankind. Whitman wrote during the 19th Century. Aiding the wounded in the Civil War influenced his writings. Walt Whitman wrote one book, Leaves of Grass, which took him a lifetime to write. His masterpiece is what made him famous. Whitman's poetry is very forthright and original ranging from anything imaginable. His style of writing was not usual organized word structure, but open-ended units and very free flowing. In his poetry he made long lists cataloging everything. His style was based on cadence the long easy sweep of sound that echoes the Bible and the speeches of orators and preachers. This cadence is the reason for Walt Whitman's free verse: poetry without rhyme or meter. Being constantly curious about who he was, Whitman often wrote about individuality.
"I Hear America singing," is a famous poem that appears in Whitman's book "Leaves of Grass." The theme in this poem is the individuality in America's people. "I hear America singing the varied carols I hear, . . . " (line 1). He expresses this through the occupations of men and women of America. Walt Whitman describes the pride men and women have in their work. He states, "Each singing what belongs to him or her and none else, . . . " (line 9). He wants to show the different individual feelings and actions of the Americans through their occupations.
Walt Whitman witnessed painful, gruesome, and heartbreaking sites aiding the wounded during the Civil War. In his poem "A Sight in Camp in the Daybreak Gray and Dim," Whitman describes a horrible sight he once saw: "Three forms I see on stretchers lying, brought out there untended lying, . . . " (line 4). He can not understand why all this fighting and killing is taking place. Whitman writes, "I think this face is the face of Christ himself,/ Dead and divine and brother of all, and here ag...