Walt Whitman

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How can Whitman and Dickinson be considered Romantic poets?

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While Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson came to prominence at the end of the Romantic/Transcendentalist movement, they both share aspects of the Romantic writers. First and foremost, they both share a love of Nature and find a spirituality in Nature. For instance, in Whitman's Song of Myself, particularly in canto 6, he speaks of the grass, where he contemplates the many definitions of it. First, he sees the positive aspects of the grass, calling it "the handkerchief of the Lord" (94), "the produced babe of the vegetation" (97), and "a uniform hieroglyphic" (98). But the tone shift to a more somber meaning of the grass in line 102 when he envisions the grass as "the uncut hair of graves." In this second section of the canto, Whitman attempts to come to terms with those who have died, especially those who were in the prime of their lives, like young men who...

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