Features of Walt Whitman’s poetry:Walt Whitman, born in 1819, belonged to a very humble and hardworking family.He was quite young when he started working as a journalist and it was during this time that he published a small volume of twelve poems, “The leaves of Grass”. Laterhe was given a his government job from which he was dismissed but later reinstated.Whitman belonged to the Romantic Movement and he was the greatest of American poets. Whitman’s poems were an inspiration to all men and women to rejoice in the primal forces of life. The fullness and variety of nature is given an extensive coveragein his poems.Whitman’s “Song of Myself” is a personal poem in which, he talks more of himself .He hadbeen criticized for the excessive use of ‘I’ in it but Whitman clarifies that he had used it to show the universality of ‘I’. The poem reflects on his beliefs and faith. The characteristic trait of his poems is his romanticism, which is reflected in all his poems. The age to which Whitmanbelonged, is justified in most of his poems. He had a special connection with the thought of deathA number of poems, which he wrote, dealt with death, like ‘O Captain! My Captain!’, ‘When Lilacs in the Dooryard Bloomed’ all had death as the underlying subject.
Whitman’s interest in politics inspired a number of political poems like ‘Leaves of Grass’ in which he has also elaborated on the concept of true love of democracy. His language and his style of writing highlights his love for contradictions, for which he has been much criticized. One of the greatest poems that Whitman is known for is ‘Passage to India’ for which he has won critical acclaim. The poem is a salute to the three feats of engineering marvel that brought the world closer. The three engineering feats –the telephone cable that was laid across the Atlantic Ocean, the rail lines that joined the United States from coast to coast, and the opening of the Suez Canal. Whitman calls the year 1869 the year of “the year of the marriage of continents oceans and climates”.Walt Whitman’s poetry was an inspiration that transcended beyond man and reached the soul.