Winslow Homer, The Fog Warning, 1885, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, US. Walt Whitman & Emily Dickinson Performer - Culture & Literature Marina Spiazzi, Marina Tavella, Margaret Layton 2012 Walt Whitman & Emily Dickinson 1. Walt Whitman: life He was born in New York into a working-class family in 1819. He had little formal education. At eleven he started to work as an office boy and then became
a printers apprentice for a local newspaper. Walt Whitman He became a journalist supporting radical democratic causes. Performer - Culture & Literature Walt Whitman & Emily Dickinson 1. Walt Whitman: life He travelled widely through his country. He acquired a self-taught culture including the Bible, Homer, Dante, Shakespeare, Carlyle, Goethe, Hegel, Emerson, oriental religion and philosophy.
In 1855 he published the first edition of Leaves of Grass. Walt Whitman Nine editions followed, each containing new poems. Performer - Culture & Literature Walt Whitman & Emily Dickinson 1. Walt Whitman: life Performer - Culture & Literature The third one, in 1860, aroused the indignation of puritanical readers and
gained Whitman a reputation for obscenity and homosexuality. During the Civil War he visited wounded soldiers in the army hospitals. He continued to believe in the value of democracy and technological progress. Walt Whitman & Emily Dickinson 1. Walt Whitman: life Performer - Culture & Literature
The fourth edition of Leaves of Grass (1867) contained poems on the Civil War and on the death of President Lincoln. In 1873 he retired to Camden, New Jersey, where he was visited by admirers and disciples. He died in 1892. Walt Whitman & Emily Dickinson 2. Walt Whitman: his influence
Whitmans popularity in Europe grew in the 1870s, especially appreciated by the Aesthetic Movement. He influenced later poets such as Ezra Pound, Carl Sandburg, and, more recently, the Beat Generation. He is generally regarded as the father of American poetry, as the first voice that was distinctly new and American. Performer - Culture & Literature Walt Whitman & Emily Dickinson 3. Leaves of Grass (1855) Published on 4th July American Independence Day Included a preface where the author introduced the subject matter, the language and the
aim of his poetry. Not a collection of poems but a life-long poem. Walt Whitman Performer - Culture & Literature Walt Whitman & Emily Dickinson 3. Leaves of Grass (1855) A total of nine different editions published between 1855 and 1892. Implied a process of development and expansion resulting from a transcendental sense of the unity of all things. All of life and experience, reality itself, were a process, a continuing, all-embracing flow. Performer - Culture & Literature Walt Whitman & Emily Dickinson
4. Themes of Whitmans poetry Optimism and romantic faith in the dynamic future of the American nation. Democracy and the American dream. The self-celebration of the poet as a prophet of his country. The dignity of the individual, conceived as the unity of
body and soul. Performer - Culture & Literature Walt Whitman & Emily Dickinson 5. Song of Myself In Song of Myself Whitman divided his being into three. Myself Whitmans poetic personality Me self Whitmans inner personality My soul An enigma, unexpected otherness Performer - Culture & Literature Walt Whitman & Emily Dickinson
5. Song of Myself Song of Myself celebrates the meeting between The The you The other, whoever you are Performer - Culture & Literature I Whose reality is constantly questioned Walt Whitman & Emily Dickinson 6. Whitmans style Use of free verse.
Long lines where rhythm is determined by the thought or emotion expressed. Use of accumulation and addition. The participle often replaces the finite verb. Use of dialect and common speech. Few similes and metaphors. Performer - Culture & Literature Walt Whitman & Emily Dickinson 7. Emily Dickinson: life
She was born into a middleclass Puritan family in Amherst, Massachusetts, in 1830. Her father, a lawyer and a politician, influenced her emotional development and religious belief. She received her university education at Mount Holyoke Female Seminary. Performer - Culture & Literature Emily Dickinson
Walt Whitman & Emily Dickinson 7. Emily Dickinson: life She refused to declare her faith in public, as required by the Puritan tradition. She interrupted her studies and returned home. She began a life of seclusion and only wore white clothes as ambiguous emblems of spiritual marriage and singleness.
She never left her fathers house except for some walks in the garden. Performer - Culture & Literature Emily Dickinson Walt Whitman & Emily Dickinson 7. Emily Dickinson: life She died in 1886. Poems by Emily Dickinson appeared in 1890 published by the literary critic Thomas W. Higginson.
A complete edition of her poems appeared in 1955, edited by Thomas Johnson. A collection of her letters was published in 1958. Performer - Culture & Literature Walt Whitman & Emily Dickinson 8. Influences on Dickinson The Bible, Shakespeare, Milton, the Metaphysical poets. Contemporary writers like
Emily Bront. The Puritan tradition. Emersons Transcendentalism. Performer - Culture & Literature The Homestead, East Facade Walt Whitman & Emily Dickinson 9. Dickinson vs. Whitman Emily Dickinson
The poet of what is broken and absent. Detached from contemporary taste, from the great events and contrasts of the age. Poetry of isolation. Used her poetry to challenge received certainties. Performer - Culture & Literature Walt Whitman
The poet of wholeness. Deeply interested and involved in the issues of his time. Poetry of celebration. His task was to respond to the spirit of his country, to give voice to the common man. Walt Whitman & Emily Dickinson 10. Themes in Dickinsons poetry Death and loss.
Love and desire. Time. Fear, sorrow and despair. God. Nature. Mans relation to the universe. Performer - Culture & Literature Walt Whitman & Emily Dickinson 11. The theme of death Death from the point of view of: the person dying; a witness. Death the great mystery, connected with eternity, a liberation from anxiety. Death the place where the human being tends to, in order to become one with the universe. Performer - Culture & Literature
Walt Whitman & Emily Dickinson 12. The theme of love Love is explored through a full range of emotions: from ecstatic and sensual celebration to the despair due to separation. Love expectation of eternity as the hope of a final spiritual union. Performer - Culture & Literature Walt Whitman & Emily Dickinson 13. The theme of nature Different from man: a source of wonder or fear. Can be presented: through an objective description; by juxtaposing the thing observed and the soul of the observer the natural datum leads to philosophical speculation; as a source of imagery to emphasise an abstract concept or theme.
Performer - Culture & Literature Walt Whitman & Emily Dickinson 14. Dickinsons style Poems do not have a title. Short poems, organised in simple quatrains. Use of monosyllabic words. Terms from various sources: law, geometry, engineering. Use of rhetorical devices such as imperfect rhymes, assonance, alliteration, paradox, metaphor, ellipsis and capitalisation. Extensive use of dashes.
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