Robert Frost and Walt Whitman

08.01.2019 in Comparative Essays
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The Comparison of Robert Frost and Walt Whitman Poetry

Robert Frost and Walt Whitman created incredibly splendid poems about love, innocence, lost hopes, and adorable, beautiful nature using the appropriate language to express their inner thoughts, folk wisdom, spiritual, and moral values of the surrounding world. The poet’s charm an attentive, curious reader from the first lines of the poems makes him imagine the marvelous pictures of the non-existent reality.

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Love has no boundaries in nature, but the law of life can be cruel at times. In the poem “Wind and Window Flower” by Robert Frost, the poet discovered love as a cruel feeling that brings only sufferings and nothing more. Frost represented a traditional, dramatic form of the lyrics using a narrative sad monologue of the speaker. The story of the poem is rather short, but it contains “the sound of sense” that is definitely characteristic for such traditional writing. Besides, the poet uses very plain language creating a verse according to the appropriate mid-length without direct comparisons, but the rhyme simplifies the implication of the poem. Therefore, this minimalism reveals a deep plot of the poet’s narration. The words “Lovers, forget your love,/ And list to the love of these,/ She a window flower,/ And he a winter breeze” (Frost n.p.) express total injustice to those who love each other because it is merely impossible to “forget” this deep feeling that lives inside the heart. Moreover, the poet makes the reader muse about this desperate love with no further right for the infinite existence.

Nature has great power presented by God to shape other living creatures’ lives and fates; it is obviously that nobody can change the determined destiny. The “window flower” loves the “winter wind” that destroys everything on its way including “the caged yellow bird”. Moreover, in the words “He marked her through the pane,/ He could not help but mark,/ And only passed her by/ To come again at dark” (Frost n.p.), the poet shows the reader that the wind is the voice of the nature. However, the question, why this “frosty wind” hates a miserable bird remains unanswered for the reader.

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Whitman’s works, as opposed to those of Frost, belong to freestyle writing and include not hidden realism of life. In the poem “Miracles”, he does not present any rhyme creating a long story with the concept of “myself”. Whitman narrates the whole poem using the first person and repetitions of some words. Moreover, there are no limits for him according to the poetic forms, and the poem is like a prose with long lines. Besides, the rhythm does not generally exist; it is rather based on appropriate words, direct phrases, and sentences. The poet mentions his favorite places such as “the streets of Manhattan” and “the roofs of houses” sharing with the reader those things that he merely adores. In contrast to Frost, Whitman describes his impressions independently and free showing all his obvious pleasure he feels “wading with the naked feet along the beach” (Whitman n.p.) to involve his reader into his own world of thoughts where everything seems to be a miracle. However, Frost and Whitman observe love in different ways. If Frost speaks about love with a delicate and sensual manner, Whitman’s love does not include innocence or pureness. Whitman’s lines “Or talk by day with any one I love – or sleep in bed at night/ with anyone I love” (Whitman n.p.) express uncovered reality of life, and the poet does not try to hide his emotions.

Summing up, Frost and Whitman created wonderful literary works that have something unique and exquisite, but their poems reveal life in a different way. The plot of Frost’s poem is naive and sensitive discovering love with so much sadness and tenderness because it is a divine feeling. As for Whitman, he describes the world as he sees it without any “embellishment”.

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