Dickinson and Whitman: What messages are they trying to convey in their poetry? Are they successful?

  1. Write a 250-word (minimum) response to each writing prompt below. You must meet the minimum word count for each response to get full credit.
  2. Use only the assigned readings unless otherwise instructed.
  3. Your responses must include quotes from each text used to get full credit. Be sure to quote, cite, and reference from the text(s) using appropriate APA format. For assistance with APA citations, review the “APA Format” link (go to “Start Here” and then “Course Resources”).

1. Dickinson and Whitman are two important poets from the antebellum period. They are very different, both in terms of form (what their poetry looks like on the page) and content. Write a comparison, using poems from the assigned reading, that includes at least three terms defined in the Poetry Lecture in Week 1, as well as the poets’ purpose in writing. What messages are they trying to convey in their poetry? Are they successful? Of the two poets, which one do you prefer and why?

Walt Whitman

  • biography
  • “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry”

Emily Dickinson

  • biography
  • Poem 122 (“These are the days when Birds come back”)
  • Poem 207 (“I taste a liquor never brewed”)
  • Poem 236 (“Some keep the Sabbath going to Church”)
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