Essay Sample on the History of the Poets: Walt Whitman and Robert Frost

Published: 2019-05-30
Essay Sample on the History of the Poets: Walt Whitman and Robert Frost
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Poem Literature Walt Whitman
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 831 words
7 min read

The story behind Walt Whitman began in West Hills, Long Island in New York where he was born on 31st may in 1819 to Walter and Louisa. During his childhood, Walts family moved from one place to another in search of better lives. At the age of 11 years, Walt started working for a newspaper in Manhattan and Brooklyn. He later became a school teacher in Long Island and got separated from his family, which enabled him to realize himself. In 1841 through to 1851, Walt managed to edit a variety of periodicals and newspapers which initiated his composition of poems. At one point, his brother acquired injuries in the Civil war and when Walt visited him, he got to encounter the large number of soldiers wounded. These events contributed to Walts career as a volunteer in hospitals as well as a poet where he would utilize virtues such as imagination and sensibility in his work.

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Later in his life, Walt secured a job at the Attorney Generals office and worked there till 1973 after which he suffered paralytic stroke. This illness developed towards his death in 1892 but his works remain memorable to readers who claim that every part of his life portrayed an important aspect of the words he wrote.

On the other hand, Robert Frost came into existence on 26th March in 1874 in San Francisco to William Prescott Frost Jr and Isabelle Moodie. However, his father, William died when Robert was eleven years from tuberculosis. They thus had to move to Massachusetts to start over and while there, William developed an interest in reading and poetry while in high school. He later progressed to campus at Harvard but unfortunately never acquired a degree. William struggled in between jobs from a teacher to a cobbler and eventually became an editor at the Sentinel in Lawrence, Massachusetts. As an editor, he managed to publish his first poem, My Butterfly, in the New York newspaper, The Independent. He later married Elinor Miriam White in 1895 a sweetheart from high school. They moved to England for green pastures after struggling in New Hampshire. England brought about influential poets who inspired him to begin pursues his work and upon his return to the United States he had already published various collections. His work brought him fame and recognition as one of the best writers in the United States with opportunities such as performing his poems at the inauguration of J. F. Kennedy. However, he died in Boston in 1963 after various years as a teacher.


The poem, Song of myself, written by Walt Whitman comprises of themes such as the idea of self and that of others where the poet aims at relating with nature. He also utilizes figures of speech such as symbolism where houses depict civilization while perfumes symbolize people. Similarly, the poet uses the atmosphere in the representation of nature and personifies self identity to portray the constant changes in ideologies and experiences across the world. The ideas propagated by Walt entail representation of experiences and spiritual insights through self. On the other hand, Robert Frost utilizes symbolism in indicating the identity of the two paths described in his poem. He attempts to show the importance of correct decision making and the effects that occur after making these decisions.

Walt Whitman utilizes the sense of purpose and passive perception in portraying the importance of self preservation. He reflects on his life through poetry where he indicates that personal achievements may help in portraying a persons life story. The poet utilizes symbolism in indicating life. For instance, the use of grass signifies generation of nature as well as a necessary resources used in connecting people in all regions across the United States. Grass in the poem symbolizes democracy as it grows freely and everywhere. Walt relates the grass to the massive graves of the soldiers who died at war. He visions the grass as the reassurance of democracy regardless of the occurrence of events that led to the death of the people. However, his use of symbolism and personification seem to contradict each other as the link between encompassing everything and saying nothing does not match.

Arguably, Robert Frost differs from Walt in that he utilizes lyrical verses and dramatic conversation in demonstrating the ability to link philosophical modes in memorable beauty. Robert utilizes more personification in exemplifying the pastoral aspects of the poems. For instance, he brings about a different poem during the inauguration of President J. F. Kennedy. Basically, Frost involves irony in depicting the meaning of his words in an attempt to create a vision for his audience. He creates images which portray the significance in choosing a path that should be given consideration. He confuses the reader through by creating similarity in the paths but choosing one paths over the other creates tension and suspense over the likelihood of choosing the other. On the other hand, Walt Whitman only focuses on self by presenting it both individually and universally through aspects of the world.

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