Walt Whitman Essay Prompts

He spent his final decade putting together authoritative versions of his sprawling writings, including a so-called deathbed edition of Leaves of Grass (1891).

If you are studying English literature then you may well need to write an essay based on Walt Whitman.

The focus changes abruptly, as if something momentous has suddenly occurred to the speaker that he must communicate immediately. Furthermore, in referring to himself as “untamed” and to his poem as “a barbaric yawp,” we might ask why the speaker seems to confirm what many readers may have felt—that the poem is a wild and somewhat incoherent exclamation. Further, he seems to say that both he and all people are identified in some way with each other and with all things. When his formal education ended at the age of eleven, Whitman forged his own self-directed education by reading widely and immersing himself in the vibrant life and cultural riches of New York City.

Near the end of the first and longest of the book’s poems, later named “Song of Myself,” the speaker seems to refer to both the poem and himself when he says, “I too am not a bit tamed . One of the great challenges of reading “Song of Myself” and the other poems in the first edition of Leaves of Grass is to try to determine whether the book possesses an overall shape. And yet, for all the abstractness of such an idea, the poem teems with specific descriptions of all sorts of people pursuing their various purposes, both ordinary and exceptional, across the moral spectrum. Whitman also visited his grandparents in rural Long Island often and developed an enduring love for the natural world, especially the shoreline landscape.

A calculated spontaneity characterizes the first edition, which lacks the titles and section numbers that appear in later editions. nor feed on the spectres in books, / You shall not look through my eyes either, nor take things from me, / You shall listen to all sides and filter them from yourself” (ll. Does the speaker suggest here that “Song of Myself” will perform some function that transcends the communication of meaning through words?

This absence of signposts seems appropriate for the predominant themes of Whitman’s poetry. Yet the poet himself uses words to communicate his vision to us. How can the contradictions in an individual or a nation be accommodated and lead to wholeness rather than divisiveness?As he continued to revise Leaves of Grass, Whitman published several other works of poetry and prose, including Democratic Vistas (1871) and “Passage to India” (1871).From 1884 until his death in 1892, Whitman lived in Camden, New Jersey, in the only house he ever owned.If this is the case and you are stuck for ideas of what topics to actually base your essay on then the following should help you to make your mind up.When writing an essay about Walt Whitman you have the option of either writing about any of his poetry and written work or, alternatively, you may decide to write about him as a person.For example, you can scan through the multitude of past papers that are available online.It is worth noting that some of the papers may be available for free, whilst you may be required to pay for others.Do the recurrent themes and images, as well as the separate sections of the works, move forward with a discernible purpose? there are millions of suns left, / You shall no longer take things at second or third hand . Like the growing, vibrant country in which Whitman lived, the world of his poetry is populated with individuals from all walks of life. Whitman’s first occupation, at the age of twelve, was in the printing trade, and, throughout his life, Whitman insisted on being deeply involved in the design and layout of his books.Just after “Song of Myself” begins, the speaker asks the reader a short series of questions that challenge some common assumptions about language and literature: “Have you practiced so long to learn to read? There is a mocking quality to the speaker’s use of the words “practiced” and “proud,” as if he intends to offer something direct and unmediated to the reader. At the same time, the speaker in “Song of Myself” subsumes these individuals to some greater idea in which individuality is dissolved. From printing, he made an easy transition to journalism.[tags: Walt Whitman on Democracy ] - Walt Whitman, born in May of 1819, grew up with an affinity for America.Originally from Long Island, New York, Whitman moved to Brooklyn as a child in hopes that his father would find work in the city.


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