Walt Whitman

Start Your Free Trial

Are Walt Whitman's poems "Facing West From California's Shores" and "Beat! Beat! Drums" cognitive or literal?

Expert Answers info

eir eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2011

write48 answers

starTop subjects are Literature and Law and Politics

Reuven Tsur is most often credited for making the distinction between a literal and a cognitive approach to poetry. According to Tsur there are two ways of reading poetry: for the literal meanings and for the rhythms and sounds that  work on the body and brain and cause us to make connections less directly. According to Tsur most poems have a cognitive aspect to them. 

However, in comparing Walt Whitman 's poems "Facing West from a California Shore" and "Beat! Beat! Drums!" it's easy to see that "Facing West from a California Shore" is more...

(The entire section contains 280 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

check Approved by eNotes Editorial