Analysis of Whitman’s and Dickinson’s Poems

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Poems are used to express elaborate and difficult concepts in simplistic and meaningful ways. There are many different ways to express your views when it comes to poems. There are a multitude of different formats, including haiku's, epics, and narrative. With each individually idual format, more creative and different ways of expressing a thought or idea can occur. Comparisons will occur when you see a multitude of poems with different formats. When comparing two poems, an analyzation of the language used, format, and overall thought or idea must take place. When comparing two poems such as a Walt Whitman (I Hear America Singing) or a Emily Dickinson (712), many similarities and differences will arise. The poems are different in the sense that they both have a different outlook. The poems are similar in the way that they use figurative language and the poems are both in a narrative format.

Walt Whitman's I Hear America Singing and Emily Dickinson's 712 are poems that differ mainly by their outlook on life and the environment. Walt Whitman's poem uses many cheerful and jubilous events and paints a picture of a happy and peaceful environment. For example, in I Hear America Singing, Walt Whitman makes everyone sing to depict joy, The carpenter singing the mason singing the boatmaker singing (Whitman). By making everyone in the poem sing, Whitman is implying that they must be enjoying themselves and not dealing with any hardship. He is also trying to express that everyone in America has their own tiny part in making the country what it is, by contributing through their work, specifically the sounds of their work. Contrasting the cheerful and positive outlook of Walt Whitman's poem is Emily Dickinson's 712. In 712, the poem deals with an experience or idea of death. The poem describes, from the narrator's perspective, a person recanting their experiences in life and inching closer to death. This can be a probable conclusion due to Dickinson saying, Since then -- ?tis Centuries -- and yet Feels shorter than the Day (Dickinson). She is trying to describe that although in the moment, certain events in her life seemed long, but when she thinks about them, they feel like they happened in an instance. After experiencing those events, she realizes that she will never go through such experiences again because time stops for no one. Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson wrote similar poems, but they differed in their attitude and stance.

Walt Whitman's I Hear America Singing and Emily Dickinson's 712 are both poems that are similar in the way that they use figurative language. Although the attitudes and perspectives of the two poems are different, the two poems share the same type of figurative language. In Walt Whitman's I Hear America Singing, he says, Singing with open mouths their strong melodious songs (Whitman). He uses figurative language in that quote by saying that the work that everyone is doing is their own unique form of song. The mechanics using their machinery and the girl sewing all have their own part in America's song because they are people that contribute to what America is. Similar use of figurative language can be found in Emily Dickinson's 712. In 712, Dickinson says, We passed the Setting Sun -- Or rather -- He passed Us (Dickinson). Although it is quite a literal statement, the true meaning of that proclamation is that time is always passing by. Time cannot be controlled or enhanced, all we can do is just let it be. Both Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson use figurative language in a similar way to allude to a bigger concept.

As well as using figurative language in a similar way, Walt Whitman's I Hear America Singing and Emily Dickinson's 712 both share the same format as being narrative poems. A narrative poem is a poem that is viewed and described from the perspective of the narrator. In Walt Whitman's I Hear America Singing he describes what he hears, I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear (Whitman). By using the word I it is easy to determine that the poem is from Walt Whitman's view and perspective. It is also simple to analyze that anything he might say or do could contain some of his personal bias'. Similarly, in Emily Dickinson's 712 it is also quite clear that it is from her perspective and attitude. In 712, she says, Because I could not stop for Death -- He kindly stopped for me (Dickinson). In this poem, the use of I is a clear indicator that it is from the viewpoint of Emily Dickinson. Also, it preludes that the rest of the poem will concern many topics surrounding Dickinson and her thoughts. Both Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson utilize the narrator format to personalize their poems and add depth.

Poems are great segways to express a person's thoughts or opinions. Compared to other forms of literature, they are more loosely categorized in the fact that there is no one and only way of writing a poem. There are many aspects such as the format and utilization of rhymes and figurative language that can cause poems to be different or similar, but not exact. After analyzing Walt Whitman's I Hear America Singing and Emily Dickinson's 712, both are similar in the way that they use figurative language to define a deeper purpose as well as taking the narrator format to make their poems more personal. They also differ in the fact that the end meaning and viewpoint are completely the opposite.

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Analysis Of Whitman's And Dickinson's Poems. (2019, Jul 11). Retrieved February 22, 2024 , from

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