Walt Whitman And Emily Dickinson Quotes Explained

1613 words - 7 pages

Kathryn GalbraithAmerican Lit.Emily Dickinson was a brilliant writer and is often considered the "mother" of poetry. For this reason I choose a passage from her writing to start this paper.Some keep the Sabbath going to churchI keep it staying homeWith a bobolink for a choiristerAnd an orchard for a dome (Emily Dickinson)This is a strong passage about religious faith and how one chooses to worship. In the eyes of Dickinson worship was in her home. She did not feel the need to go out and be seen at a church to embrace God. She felt that nature, as pure as it is, was a strong connection with God. Why not embrace nature then? That is what she did. In the line "With a bobolink for a choirister" ...view middle of the document...

"I dig my toes into the sand, The ocean looks like a thousand diamonds strewn across a blue blanket, I lean against the wind, pretend that I am weightless, and in this moment I am happy, happy."(Morning View, Incubus)After reading this passage I found when I applied my thoughts and feelings to the words of someone else, I am not as different or alone as I sometimes feel in life. After realizing this I find the passage to differ immensely from the first time I laid my eyes upon it. When you apply someone's writing to your own life, both begin to have new meaning.Walt Whitman was another founder of poetry and wrote many powerful poems. He is also credited as the "father" of poetry. His writing is powerful and extremely moving. "What is known I strip away, I launch all men and women forward with me into the Unknown."(Whitman, Song of Myself) In this passage he states his meaning clear and crisp, all memories are forgotten and everyone is now in the unknown. What do we really know? Does one person know more or are we simply all the same?This passage is not relevant to one time in my life but numerous times. I constantly feel like I strip away what is known. If I cannot remember and everyone is with me in the unknown, how can I hurt or feel? I simply cannot with out the memories of the past, so I constantly feel myself stripping and launching everyone with me in order to keep it all the same. It is in a sense a coping mechanism that I frequently use.One of the most relevant times this quote applied to my life was during a dark new school year. The year I started high school. The summer right before this year I was stripped by someone else and he launched me in the unknown in silent solitude. This man had taken everything from me. He physically and literally stripped me! The repercussions of this act left me with tons of police questions and enormous amounts of information to explain. I was damaged and confused and couldn't find the answer everyone wanted to know. His name. So after this struggle rumors broke out in my school and I was ostracized and called horrible names like "slut" and "nigger-love" due to my offender making up stories and being the opposite race. That is when these words explained how I would accept this for the rest of my life, "What is known I strip away, I launch all men and women forward with me into the Unknown."(Whitman, Song of Myself) Stripping myself down and launching others made it easier to deal with. Instead of dealing with it all at once, with the help of my therapist, I could take one strip and work on it, like a puzzle, piece by piece.After applying the essence of myself to this passage, I can somewhat see it differently. Maybe he is stripping everything away and cleansing himself and everyone else for something magnificent. I often wish I could "cleanse" myself permanently from what happened. Perhaps Whitman had a similar traumatic situation? Understanding the idea of "cleansing" ourselves is...

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