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Word Count: 392
When a tragedy strikes a nation artists often turn to their work as means of expressing grief Such the case is the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln In the days and months following Lincolns assassination on April 14 1865 Walt Whitman with When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloomd and William Cullen Bryant with Abraham Lincoln both offer poetic elegies for this much loved president Although Whitmans and Bryants tributes to Lincoln share similarities there are many differences in the way both poets chose to honor President Lincoln Bryant and Whitman share an obvious respect for President Lincoln Bryant and Whitman both covertly explain how in the time of war the North looked to Lincoln as their leader and the poets write as an answer to the empty feeling in the North Both Bryant and Whitman write in a romantic flowery style as they immortalize a human Although Lincolns life was cut short Bryant and Whitman choose to highlight his many accomplishments with prose a medium that will outlast even the poets themselves Now on paper Lincolns feats will live on for eternity Although the poets agree on the honor that should be bestowed upon this great man both men illustrate that very differently The first and most obvious distinction is the length Bryant gives tribute in just 16 lines while Whitmans boasts 206 Bryant writes in a distinct metered verse with a regular rhyme scheme Whitman conversely composes in free verse exempt from any metered verse or rhyme scheme Although Bryants poetic elegy is free from similes and metaphors Whitman utilizes a metaphor in line seven of the second stanza where he compares Lincoln to a star The star a symbol of continuous stability commemorates Lincoln for perpetuity While Bryant excludes metaphors to symbolize Lincolns greatness he demonstrates his extraordinary accomplishments by merely listing them In lines eleven and twelve Bryant highlights Lincolns greatest success the abolishment of slavery In the
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