The Life And Work Of Walt Whitman

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For the great majority of its early life, poetry was as much a science as it was an art. There were many cardinal rules which were never to be questioned, much less broken. And yet, like in all fields of the human experience, progress is only made by those intrepid souls who are willing to question the status quo. The instigators of change have always been men who had a higher regard for progress and truth than they did comfort or tradition. In their day, these men were often labeled as heretics, while today we consider them heroes. Walt Whitman’s career as a poet was a lifelong attempt to challenge the conventions of his day that they might evolve into a superior form in the future. Today, Walt Whitman is regarded as the finest poet that …show more content…
Respected American writers such as John Steinbeck would create a narrative focused on a particular group, whether it was immigrants, impoverished Americans, or southern families etc. They would paint a picture of the world through their eyes. But Whitman believed that by limiting his writings, or even his personal views to one narrow ideology he would be forfeiting every other idea that the world had to offer. Whitman wanted it all; he wanted his writings to include the emotions, sentiments, prejudices, and wisdoms of every living person that he had ever had the privilege of meeting. His self-prescribed litmus test for his success …show more content…
To absorb such a large and abnormally diverse country like the United States would be extremely difficult. It would require the acceptance of many contradicting beliefs and opinions on a wide variety of topics. It would require a willingness to challenge everything you thought you knew about life. It would require a man like Walt Whitman. To many, this sounds impossible. But to Whitman, it was natural. His conflicting views on different topics in his writings often frustrated and confused some readers. They did not understand that he saw himself as the collection of souls that he had encountered throughout his life in America. Whitman felt that the unfiltered and unadulterated American ethos was too powerful, and in a sense too sacred to be manipulated or mischaracterized in his writing. If the American people were to absorb him and his writings, he must first prove that he had absorbed

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