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Walt Whitman: A Beginner's Guide

Updated on June 14, 2012

Writing a Paper on Whitman

Here is the general understanding of Walt Whitman's Leaves Of Grass.

He is a transcendentalist. He sees into the mystical world, the romantic beauty in both physical objects and the spirit of humankind. He proclaims his individuality, his uniqueness, and every man's capacity for greatness. He is a dreamer. He writes in free verse (unrhymed poetry), and he was the first to do it on a large level. He set a trend. The individuality and the innovative nature of his new form and ethos have been noted to define the American spirit.

So if you want to do okay on a high school paper, put down something like that. But I would also encourage you to take specific examples from the text to back this up. Of course, with Whitman's poetry, just about any verse in any poem has some evidence of what I said in the above paragraph. So go ahead and do this if you want to just get a passing grade.

But you would be missing out on the beauty of someone who arguably set the tone for the contemporary American rock star, the modern news pundit, the dramatic Hollywood actor. This is the age of ME ME ME. And in a sense, Whitman started that. Although I definitely prefer Whitman to the Kardashians.


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    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 

      6 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      Thank you for that, jpcmc! It took me awhile to find my niche, and I had to try writing on numerous topics before I found it. And it seems that niches can and do change for a variety of reason, like you stated. Best bet is to stay flexible, don't be afraid to experiment, you might pick up a new niche or learn something. :)

    • ramerican profile imageAUTHOR

      ramerican 

      6 years ago

      thanks, jpcmc --are you making good money?

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 

      6 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Great adivse TToombs08. It's really mportant to know your niche. Of course there are writers who explore different topics but they usually go back to their first love. I personally experienced a shift in focus because of several factor - birth of my first daughter, changes in office setting, moving to a new place. All these contributed to my changing hub habits.

      So ramerican, try to read different hubs and you'll see numerous writing styles. In time you can develop your own. I read and write about topics that matters to me. I share my hubs in a manner that everyone can appreciate and understand it. Good luck and happy hubbing.

    • ramerican profile imageAUTHOR

      ramerican 

      6 years ago

      fantastic! i will....

    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 

      6 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      That's what HP is all about, practicing and improving. :) You will get there, start at a level you are comfortable with, ask questions, read the tutorials in the learning center, read other hubs and write.

      It depends on the topic, some of my hubs have only attracted other hubbers (like my "Top 10 Signs You Might Be Addicted to HubPages) and some that get a lot of non-hubber views (my "5 Mythical Creatures of Alaska" was actually picked up by an Alaskan online magazine because the editor found me through a google search). It helps to know your audience and write to them.

      Feel free to contact me privately if you have a lot of questions and I'll try to help you out or point you in the right direction. :)

    • ramerican profile imageAUTHOR

      ramerican 

      6 years ago

      sounds good. i can't write at that level, but i can certainly improve. i underestimate my audience at times, which, speaking of ---is it mainly other hubbers that read these things?

    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 

      6 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      I think you'll find most hubbers read at the NY Times level, at least the ones that I've interacted with.

    • ramerican profile imageAUTHOR

      ramerican 

      6 years ago

      Thanks, guys. I see that this is an intelligent crowd here, so I'll step it up a bit. In general, should I try to write from the perspective of a standard local newspaper (dumbed down) or more like a good article in the NY times?

    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 

      6 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      Well, this was short and sweet. A little more would be good; like explain how Whitman started the "ME! ME! ME!" movement? Not a bad start for just having joined HP.

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 

      6 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Leaves of Grass - simply amazing.

      It would be a good idea to read some of his works before wirting a paper on Whitman. You can learn a lot about him thorugh his works.

      Welcome to Hubpages. 5 posts in just a few hours. wow.

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