This essay compares Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson in their style of writing as well as their lives and the subjects of their poems.

Essay by trixie1231High School, 11th gradeA+, January 2004

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Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson wrote in the same time period but their writing was very different from each other. Though they are both transcendentalists, or at least their writing seems to be, they have very different styles of writing. They are both pioneers in the field of poetry for their own reasons. Walt Whitman was a people person, meaning he associated with many different types of people where as Emily Dickinson was a recluse and associated mostly with her family. Their personalities were very different which is probably why their writing is so different. Whitman's poems were all published during his lifetime. Dickinson's might not have been published at all if it were not for a relative of hers who found them after her death. Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson have very different styles of writing; the forms of their poems are different as well as the subjects, and the audience to which the poems were meant.

Whitman began a new era in the writing world; he was the first not to conform to the usual standards of writing. His poems don't have specific rhyming patterns, and some don't rhyme at all, where as Dickinson's poems fit more into the form that had been set at that time. Dickinson's poems usually have at least two end rhymes in each stanza, which was usually how poetry was written. While Whitman's poems are large and expansive, the lines long and visually descriptive, Dickinson's works, in contrast, are highly compressed, squeezing moments of intense emotions and thought into tight four line stanzas which contract feeling and condense thought. Whitman doesn't use metaphors in his poetry which creates a more democratic form of poetry, in which not has pride of place. His voice submerges and surfaces at odd intervals, losing itself in a...