Essay Sample on Poems Derived from Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman

Published: 2023-01-19
Essay Sample on Poems Derived from Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman
Type of paper:  Argumentative essay
Categories:  Poem Walt Whitman Emily Dickinson Comparative literature
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 1038 words
9 min read

Poetry is among the globally acclaimed literary creations that have been utilized for centuries as effective tools for accounting histories and messages in their compositions. The following composition will be focused on analyzing two different forms of literary works - that portray a similarity in their composition. The compositions will be poems derived from Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman. The poems Leaves of Grass and Some Keep the Sabbath Going to Church attest to the theme of individualism/self - facets that can be manifested in the literary works' title of composition, plot, use of metaphor, and contentions made.

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Research Questions

There are no research questions that have been defined by the two analyzed texts because they are poems. Nevertheless, the compositions of the two poems are guided by their titles. Whitman's poem Leaves of Grass has illustrated the concept of individualism or the self in the author's life. On the other hand, Dickinson's poem has been developed under the title Some Keep the Sabbath Going to the Church. In this case, Dickinson has utilized the title of the poem to illustrate that the plot of the composition will talk about how some individuals go to celebrate Sabbath in churches. Conclusively, the two titles have been utilized effectively in the poem to portray extensively, the message of the poems.


Both poems featured for this analysis address the concept of self/individualism. In this case, Whitman's composition supports the theme of self through his decision to name himself as the subject of its composition. In addition, in the poem, it is evident that Whitman celebrates himself as well as all parts of his individualism. Moreover, at the time of composition, Whitman is young and he is having a healthy life. Furthermore, Whitman hopes to continue to do well in his life journey till the time of his death, a phenomenon that further illustrates that the poem is all about his life.

Dickinson's composition also depicts the concept of self/individualism through the composition of its plot. Examples of sections that illustrate this stipulation are inclusive of the instance in the poem where Dickinson believes in not following a particular dress code like people going for worship during Sabbath. Furthermore, Dickinson prefers staying at home rather than going to church on holidays and she does not believe in the church's preaching but instead, she prefers nurturing her spiritual and self-belief by herself at home. There is a larger connection between the two compositions, which is linked by the theme of self/individualism in the composition of the plots.

Metaphor is a literal device that has been evidenced in the two poems. Metaphors are figures of speech where terms or phrases are applied to an action or an object in a case that is not literally applicable (Radman 1). Examples of metaphors that have been analyzed in the literal text include "Bobolink for a Chorister," which is a metaphor that compares live birds to a church choir (Dickinson 1). Another example of a metaphor in Dickinson's composition is the "And an orchard for a dome," which is a metaphorical statement that has been put to compare the church to a garden of orchards. On the other hand, Whitman's poem uses a metaphor in the statement "Songs of Myself" to explain an individual's democratic self (Whitman 1). Another section where Whitman illustrates metaphorical language in his poem is when he tells the child that the grass has died and gone back to earth (Whitman 1). Such metaphoric texts or phrases depictions enhance the appeal of the poems in the face of its targeted audience.

Agenda of Composing the Poems

There is a similar agenda that can be derived in reference to how the two poems were created. That is to certify that an individual/self has the ability to function on his/her own without following the perceived social dictates of the society or the public at large. In this case, Emily believes that self/individuality, in reference to matters of religion, is capable to satisfy individual needs. Additionally, that is as opposed to a perspective that expects people to go to church for worship and to undertake other religious matters. Contrary, Whitman's poem is about himself and the celebration of his life. Also, the poem is a contradiction to Whitman's historical social aspect that expects an individual's achievement or accomplishment to be celebrated by his/her peers or the public.


There are several disagreements that have been portrayed in Dickinson and Whitman's literary creations. First, Emily believes that it is not a must for people to go to church to attain divinity contrary to other people's beliefs that church is essential for worship particularly during public social days like the Sabbath. Moreover, Emily establishes that devotion is present anywhere and everywhere. As such, an individual only needs to find out their satisfactory calling. On the other hand, Whitman believes in the concept of self but also establishes that a democratic self not absolute or consistent. In this case, Whitman believes that although the self is capable of functioning on its own it is not perfect and it may at times be marred by imperfections.


In conclusion, the poems Leaves of Grass and Some Keep the Sabbath Going to Church attest to the theme of individualism/self. Additionally, that is in facets that can be manifested in the literary works' title of composition, plot, use of metaphor, and contentions made. In addition, the poems' titles portray the authors of the poem's agenda or intent. Moreover, metaphor is a primary literal device that has been utilized in both poems to advance the theme of self/individualism in the materials' composition. Ultimately, the common agenda of creating poems as illustrated in their analysis is to assert that individualism is a possible phenomenon in individuals' lives. Additionally, that is contrary belief to the historical opinion that there is a need for multi-people interactions in all social undertakings.

Works Cited

Dickinson, Emily. Some keep the Sabbath going to Church - (236). 2019. <]>.

Radman, Z. Metaphors: Figures of the Mind. Berlin: Springer Science & Business Media, 2013. Print.

Whitman, Walt. Song of Myself (1892 Version). 2019. <>.

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Essay Sample on Poems Derived from Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman. (2023, Jan 19). Retrieved from

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