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Life in Whitman's Poetry

            Walt Whitman was and still is a very influential poet and one of the most famous writers of poetry in American Literature. Whitman was born May 31, 1819 in Long Island, New York and died in 1892 (Baym 2076). During his lifetime, Whitman received little acclaim for his works and often struggled to support himself. His works were inspired by his life and events, as well as the cultural and political times. For instance, Whitman's second revision of Leaves of Grass, published in August of 1856, "looked completely different physically from the first edition, and the poems it contained showed signs of genuine despair the nation in the meantime continued to unravel"(Reynolds, 340). Many have claimed that Whitman's writing style was so free in the form that his poetry did not fit into the mainstream of other writers of the period. Whitman's poetry, as unconventional as it may be, represented his democratic ideals of how he sees America. Even though Whitman's poetry is not written in a conventional way as other poets such as Emerson or Longfellow, it does have a structure of its very own. Do Whitman's poems contain many different Themes, in his poetry? Within each of Whitman's poems, "Song of Myself" and "Children of Adam" there are both similar and different themes to discuss and why themes made his poetry memorable,full of feeling and love towards each individual. What themes can you see or feel when you read Whitman's poems? .
             First themes are imperative in any type or style of writing because that is what the poems are trying to say. For instance, the central theme in "Children of Adam" is sexuality. Whereas Whitman had no problem offending people with his use of words or themes in his poetry. Yes, "Children of Adam" may be overtly sexual, but Whitman is "singing the phallus or the song of procreation." While reading the poem, there is nothing covered up and the meaning is very clear in the poem.

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