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Word Count: 366
Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson are two of the greatest American poets in our history While both in the Transcendentalist period they had very different styles and yielded very different work The first difference between these two poets that we can observe are the structural differences Whitman for one often used free verse in which he varied the length of his lines he was the first American poet to use this form Emily Dickinson however wrote the majority of her poems quatrains four line stanzas in which she uses iambic rhythm Both these styles allow for a strong rhythm and an easy flow Each of these techniques allowed the authors to express themselves in their own way Whitman liked the free verse technique because he believed it freed him to express himself without the restrictions of meter whereas Dickinson often used figurative language and strange uses of punctuation to express herself In her poem I never saw a Moor Yet certain am I of the spot As if the Checks were given the word checks symbolizes her right of passage into heaven Which brings us to another significant distinction between these authors the subject of their work Both authors wrote about very different subjects Whitman wrote much of his poetry on nature as opposed to Dickinsons questions of existence Much of this can be attributed to the atmosphere in which each lived Whitman was a public figure he traveled across America taking in the scenery and the people which he absorbed and then attempted to convey in his writing Dickinson was almost the exact opposite a very inclusive person she seldom left the house or allowed others to enter This is why the topics of her poems are so different from Whitman While he wrote of experiences and the questions in nature she explored herself and questioned existence This is why her poetry is so powerful because it has such a strong use of
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