• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Comparative Essay: Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson.

Extracts from this document...


Bret Corrigan Comparative Essay: Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson are two illustrious and significant 19th century poets. The analysis of two poems, "Of Him I Love Day and Night", by Whitman and "A Death-Blow is a Life-Blow to Some", by Dickinson, portray that despite Whitman's free verse and Dickinson's rhyme and meter the poems still convey similar messages concerning the eternal cycle that exists between death, body, and soul. The writing style of these two poets could not be more different. The differences originate from their unique personalities and lifestyles. Dickinson lived most of her life in seclusion, shy and timid, reluctant to publish her work. Whitman was a traveler, friendly and gregarious, who expected his work to have a lasting impression on its readers. Dickinson's short poetic lines, condensed through intense metaphors and the use of ellipsis (the emission of words understood to be there), contrast sharply with Whitman's long lines, little rhyme, and irregular rhythm. ...read more.


His unconventional style was revolutionary to the extent that it was the first effort to break away from the typical rhyme and meter of poetry. Meanwhile, "A Death-Blow is a Life-Blow to Some" is a concise, rhyming, insightful poem representing Dickinson's style of poetry. This particular poem is four lines long and flows rhythmically. The rhyme and meter in Dickinson's poems is portrayed clearly in the first two lines, "A death-blow is a life-blow to some Who, till they died, did not alive become." Dickinson wrote poetry for herself rather than others and tended to regard poems as experiences, not as statements like Whitman. This affects the style of poetry of Whitman and Dickinson to a degree. Whitman in writing poetry was writing for all of America as a spokesman of the people, where as Dickinson didn't want her work judged by others and wished to keep her poetry to herself. These two poems have very few similarities in terms of style and structure typical of most of Whitman and Dickinson's poetry. ...read more.


To Whitman and Dickinson death is not a gloomy demise but a pleasant and satisfying experience. Whitman expresses this feeling towards the end of his poem when he states that "if the corpse of any one I love, or if my own corpse, be duly render'd to powder, and pour'd in the sea, I shall be satisfied." Whitman and Dickinson's poetry express many similar ideas and beliefs as reflected in "Of Him I Love Day and Night" and "A Death-Blow is a Life-Blow to Some." The unique personalities and lifestyles of Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson contribute to very different styles of poetry. Dickinson wrote very meticulously and her stanzas are controlled by rhyme and meter, where as Whitman was elaborative and developed a style of poetry called free verse. However, despite differences in style and structure the poems of Whitman and Dickinson reflect the similar message of the eternal cycle and the connection between death, body, and soul, which is illustrated beautifully by "Of Him I Love Day and Night" and "A Death-Blow is a Life-Blow to Some." ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE War Poetry section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE War Poetry essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Comparison between John Donne and Emily Dickinson's poems: How each of them expresses himself/herself ...

    4 star(s)

    if rest and sleep bring much pleasure, then Death must have much more to offer.

  2. Welsh Poetry Comparison & Analysis.

    "I remembered your voice behind me, as I, afraid of the sudden peck, stretched my hand into the dark to take the warm eggs, one of them wearing a feather."

  1. The Meaning of Death in "The Last Night that She Lived" by Emily Dickinson

    By noticing the "smallest things" in nature, the speaker can see that in the largeness of nature, death is small thing; it is but one part of the cycle of life. The speaker further says that the reason for this clarity is in fact the woman's death or "this great light upon our Minds" (line 7).


    584). Gilbert and Gubar identify as their antagonists such "masculinist" critics as Ransom, and yet their argument, as they are forced to acknowledge, closely resembles his idea of the poet's mask (p. 557). But Gilbert and Gubar make one further move.

  1. Badger by John Tripp.

    Also the fact that the opposition is far more numerous than him makes one angry. There is so much injustice. The fight is not one on one. The atmosphere is also described as being unpleasant. 'Laugh, and shout and fright the scampering hogs', 'shout and hollow down the noisy streets' and 'drunken swears and reels.

  2. The death in Emily Dickinson's poem "I heard a Fly buzz-when I died" is ...

    The speaker says "There interposed a fly-With Blue-uncertain, stumbling Buzz-Between the light-and me-And then the Windows failed-and then I could not see to see." [lines 12-16] While she and the mourners were waiting for some miraculous occurrence this fly distracted them and they missed the moment of her death.

  1. War Poetry

    It is playing on the term that life comes to an end. Significantly, this quote follows the list of places where lives have been cut shorter than normal. These are physical examples of where life has ended. The photographer carries out his job in a calm and systematic matter and

  2. The changing tradition of war poetry

    Te subject matter for "fall in" is the poet doesn't mention any injuries as this would make a negative response to war. The tone of the poem is positive as he is trying to persuade young men to join war.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work