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A Comparative Study between Robert Frost and Walt Whitman

Jul 5, 2019 at Literature Essays

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Robert Frost was a poet of nature whereas Walt Whitman was the poet of mysticism. Both of them used natural settings to arrange their poetry. Walt Whitman used nature in his poetry to reveal the inner significance of the mysticism of life. Robert Frost used natural settings in order to make life evocative. Unlike Frost, Whitman has some mysticism in his composition. Frost considers that choice is a prospect to establish the fortune and future. Alternatively, Walt Whitman stresses mystic view in his poetry and he attempts to clarify the iconoclastic ideas.

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The choice of the narrator attains immense importance in a Frostian monologue. Frost’s The Road not Taken deals with the problem of choice that is swinging the condition of human mind. The difficulty of choice is one of the chief concerns in Frost’s poetry. Frost shows the paradox of human existence as he says “Some say the world will end in fire/ Some say in ice” (line 1-2). Frost has composed several poems where the difficulty, hostility of nature and choice became the key point. Home Burial or Mending Wall are the poems where natural antagonism prevails. According to Emdad and Laskar (2013), “one may find that the issue of determining the choice is guided by no obvious reasons in the poem”. (p. 4) Those vital moments when choices have to be made are frequently reflected in the literature - right from Homer down to our present day narratives. Frost illustrates and uses the physical features, people’s lives, customs, habits, traditions, dialects, etc of New England. Indeed, Frost was a modern poet who experienced the major problems of his time. Definitely, Frost stresses the difference and separateness of man and nature.

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On the other hand, Walt Whitman brought revolutionary changes to the arts of poetic composition only to give it a true American nature. Whitman’s Song of Myself is one of the finest poems composed by him. Walt Whitman is a mystic as well as a poet of democracy and science. He sees the body as manifestation of the spirit, which is delivered by death into a higher life. Whitman does not refuse the importance of the material world. He attempts to find out the spirituality through materialistic views. Indeed, mysticism rules the imagery and representation of Whitman’s poetry. Whitman broke conventional preventions about female body, love and sex. Besides this, he practiced the political idea of democracy in order to include people from all walks of life in his poetry. Whitman’s view is that the union of self and God is parallel to the union of man and woman and the union of man and man. According to Belasco and Folsom (2007), “Whitman always sought to find a way to value the self without devaluing others”. (p. 24) Such observation demonstrates that he was a mystic rhymester, which is different from the inspection of Frost. Whitman says “I am the poet of the body and I am the poet of the soul” (Section 21) that proves he was a mystic poet.

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Robert Frost and Walt Whitman used nature in their lyrical masterpiece. However, the dissimilarity is that Robert Frost used nature to make people aware of the hostility of nature. Frost learns that a man cannot get everything in his life. On the other hand, Whitman utilizes nature to commemorate oneness and union of positive things.

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