Ginsberg vs. Whitman

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Stephanie Stratis English 161W Paper #1 – Whitman Vs. Ginsberg I can still remember the first time I read “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain and wishing I had even a fraction of his literary talent. His ability to portray each and every character and place with such realism and colorful perfection consumed me with envy and moved me beyond words. Now while this is a mere example of the affinities one author feels for another’s work, a much greater and noted example can be found in Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl” in comparison to Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself”. Despite both author’s living in entirely different centuries, the similarities in each work of literature are uncanny, at times even seeming like one writer is continuing where the other left off. In regards to literature in both of their eras, it becomes seemingly and obviously so that Whitman both inspired and paved the way for Ginsberg. Both Walt Whitman and Allen Ginsberg are reflecting upon political and cultural controversies they are experiencing in the times they are living in. While they again are living in different times and generations, they both are writing in respects to their own personal thoughts and opinions regarding their own personal political and societal changes within their current America. However, this is not where the similarities of the two end, while the likeness is expressed in the content of both author’s works, the structure and style in which each poem is written is also notably alike. Walt Whitman writes his poem in independent stanzas that despite flowing flawlessly with the rest of the poem could just as effortlessly tell a story on their own. Whitman also steers away from the overrated, cliché style of rhyming; rather using decorative adjectives and detailed imagery, giving
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