A New Kind of Poetry

Song of Myself, 33 Images–catalog heroes
1. Skipper at sea
2. Mother burnt as a witch
3. Runaway slave hunted by men on horseback
4. Fireman crushed by a collapsing building
5. Dying old general

Song of Myself, 33
Q: Why does he say “I am the man, I suffer’d, I was there”?
A: Whitman’s speaker here is larger than any one person
– omniscient voice of the nation or of the human condition & Whitman’s own voice

Song of Myself, 33
1. Free Verse
2. Cadence

Song of Myself, 33
Q: Why does the speaker admire the “disdain and calmness of martyrs”?
A: Whitman is in awe of the quiet dignity in moments of injustice and defeat

Song of Myself, 33
1. Whizz
2. Gurgle
3. Buzz

Song of Myself, 33
Again – emphasizes the constant bombardment

Song of Myself
“R” sound — resembles the sounds of drums and artillery

Song of Myself, 33
1. The speaker pays tribute to all of their unsung heroes, taking on their voices and perspectives
2. Reiterates that we are all connected = universal brotherhood
> all of these I feel or am

Song of Myself, 52
1. Last of the poems in this collection
2. Poet weaves some of the themes seen throughout the other 51 poems in this final verse
3. We have come to the end of his epic

Song of Myself, 52
Q: why does he us verbs in unusual ways?
A: 1. To build a fresh approach to the same thing
2. To establish a more lively cadence
3. To maintain the energy of the epic

Song of Myself, 52
Compares the cry of the hawk to the complaining human (in this case, the poet)

Song of Myself, 52
Q: Why does he compare the cry of a hawk to the complaining human?
A: 1. The speaker claims that the poet’s voice is powerful like the hawk’s cry
2. Powerful = natural and spontaneous; cannot be translated by the conventional standards of beauty

Song of Myself, 52
1. “I” declares his union with the soil and the nature
2. He also connects his thoughts to “you” whom he addresses as a friend (companion)
3. He wants us to see that we are all connected on this earth

Characteristics of Walt Whitman
1. Outgoing
2. Self – taught
> reading
> traveling
3. Hands on
4. Bold
5. Free Verse
6. Paid for the publication of his own work

Characteristics of Emily Dickinson
1. Introverted
2. College educated – Amherst College
3. Attention to detail
4. Structured poetry
5. Private poetry published pothumously

What is poetry?
The economical use of words to convey a message or create an image

What do Dickinson’s poems do?
Supposed to make you feel something

If poetry is the economical use of words to convey a message or create an image then how does it accomplish a feel?
1. Sounds
2. Images
3. Allusions and Connotations

Description of Emily Dickinson
1. The young woman
2. The mature woman
3. The recluse
> always dressed in white
> withdrew from all but immediate family
4. She falls in love with a man named Charles Wadsworth
> he’s married but they had no physical relations

Emily Dickinson as a poet
1. Poems disseminated only as gifts or cards
2. Thomas Wentworth Higginson, editor of Atlantic Monthly, became a friend and encourager
3. Published only 7 poems before she died
4. Wrote over 2000 poems

Emily Dickinson — Pothumous Poet
1. Family members and friends started to edit and publish her poetry
2. 1955: Thomas H. Johnson attempted to faithfully publish her work
3. At age 55, she passed away
> never knew that she would be recognized as one of the great poets America, and perhaps the world, produced
> able to see the relationship between a drop of dew and a storm

Emily Dickinson — 2 secrets remain
1. The emotional scar that propelled her into seclusion
2. The great secret of her poetic genius

3 Major Themes that define Emily Dickinson’s poetry
1. Love
2. Nature
3. Death