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Compare and contrast the work of at least two poets on the theme of American society and its values Walt Whitman 1819-92 wrote The chief reason for the being of the United States of America is to bring about the common good will of all mankind the solidarity of the world Leaves of Grass Walt Whitman one of the most influential poets to come out of America was a true patriot This loyalty to his country is clear in his poetry which continually praises the United States and was born out of his belief that The United States themselves are essentially the greatest poem Leaves of Grass Allen Ginsberg 1926-97 on the other hand was one of the original American rebels His hedonistic lifestyle and open rejection of the conservative American values of his time show him in sharp contrast to Walt Whitman Much of his poetry blatantly throws commonplace norms back in the faces of the people of the Land of Hope and Glory These very different attitudes to their homeland create an obvious contrast between the two poets Whilst Walt Whitman saw himself as a man of the people and a voice for America Allen Ginsberg revelled in his outcast status Whitmans Song of Myself is a lyric poem told through the joyful experience of the narrator Ginsbergs America is the negative admonishment of an outsider to the America he detests As a member of the Beats generation Allen Ginsberg abhorred conservative America This preoccupation to attack the repressiveness of mainstream American culture with little sense of a collective identity is a main theme of Ginsbergs America and this poem emphasises the differences of opinion about America that Allen Ginsberg and Walt Whitman held As celebration of the counterculture of the Beats America asserts itself in Ginsbergs many frank and open admissions of his own activities and personality
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