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Turning points in American Literature. The Scarlet Letter (1850) by Hawthorne Moby Dick (1851) by Melville Walden (1854) by Thoreau Leaves of Grass (1855) by Whitman. Walt Whitman & Emily Dickinson. Bridges between Romanticism And Realism.

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turning points in american literature
Turning points in American Literature
  • The Scarlet Letter (1850) by Hawthorne
  • Moby Dick (1851) by Melville
  • Walden (1854) by Thoreau
  • Leaves of Grass (1855) by Whitman
walt whitman emily dickinson

Walt Whitman & Emily Dickinson

Bridges between




walt whitman
Walt Whitman
  • 1819-1892
  • Born and raised in New York (Manhattan)
  • His poetry broke every rule of traditional poetry
walt whitman4
Walt Whitman
  • Mixed reaction to his poetry
  • Emerson & Lincoln loved it
  • Whittier hated it—threw it in the fire
  • Themes: Nature, Democracy, Common Man
  • Introduced Free Verse to America
  • Many critics believe he’s America’s greatest poet
  • Along with Dickinson, the major forerunner to modern poetry
walt whitman5
Walt Whitman
  • Greatly influenced by the writing of Emerson and Thoreau
  • Believed that the poet is a representative spokesman for all men“I celebrate myself, and sing myself And what I assume you shall assume, For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.”
  • Respected President Lincoln because he represented, for Whitman, a shining example of an advocate of democracy and a lover of humanity.
walt whitman6
Walt Whitman
  • Characteristics of his poetry
    • free verse
    • wrote about any and all subjects
    • used vivid language
    • catalogs
    • parallelism
  • Affectionate nicknames
    • “The Good Gray Poet”
    • “Poet of Democracy”
  • Leaves of Grass – book of twelve poems published in 1855
o captain my captain when lilacs last in the dooryard bloom d
“O Captain, My Captain” & “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d”
  • Written after Lincoln’s assassination
  • Considered elegy
  • Relies on symbolism and metaphors
  • Whitman, in his grief, speaks not only for himself, but for the whole nation
o captain
“O Captain…”
  • Captain & Father = Lincoln
    • Commander in Chief of the war/military
    • Father of our nation
  • Ship = Civil War
  • Victor ship = winning of the Civil War…
  • Joy turns into mourning… = joy of the end of the Civil War but mourning over Lincoln’s death
whitman s poetry
Whitman’s Poetry
  • Catalog—series of images or a list of things, people, or events
  • Parallelism—using same grammatical structure
  • Other Devices
    • Alliteration
    • Onomatopoeia
    • Repetition
    • Imagery
emily dickinson
Emily Dickinson
  • Born December 10, 1830 in Amherst, MA.
  • Never married; lived in her father’s home
  • Lived in an era that had little palpable impact on her poetry
  • One of greatest lyric poets of all times
  • A forerunner to modern poetry
  • Wrote approximately 1,800 poems, most published posthumously
  • Slightly eccentric and assumed a recluse
  • Almost always wore white
  • Wrote about suffering, death, and immortality
emily dickinson11
Emily Dickinson
  • Characteristics of her style: simple yet passionate and powerful
    • Strong images and metaphors
    • Frequent use of personification
    • Unique points of view
    • Reflections on the minutia of life
    • Unconventional punctuation (dash)
    • Unconventional syntax
    • Unconventional diction
    • Unconventional capitalization
    • Brevity of lines and stanza
      • (quatrains with two – four rhyme and slant rhyme)
i m nobody
I’m Nobody…

I'm nobody! Who are you?Are you nobody, too?Then there's a pair of us — don't tell!They'd banish us, you know. How dreary to be somebody!How public, like a frogTo tell your name the livelong dayTo an admiring bog!

there is no frigate
There Is No Frigate

There is no frigate like bookTo take us lands away,Nor any coursers like a pageof prancing poetry.

This traverse may the poorest takeWithout oppress of toll;How frugal is the chariotThat bears the human soul !


Hope is the thing with feathers That perches in the soul, And sings the tune--without the words, And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard; And sore must be the storm That could abash the little bird That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chillest land, And on the strangest sea; Yet, never, in extremity, It asked a crumb of me.

more poems
More Poems…
  • Success is…(558)
  • Tell all the truth…(556)
  • Stop for death…(561)
  • My life closed twice…(570)