Whitman Versus Frost: Structure of Modern Poetry

Structure is a major consideration in poetry and also represents an
issue that many critics and poets argue about.For some, a poem is not a
real poem without some kind of formal structure.To many of these people,
a poet writing without structure should not be considered a true poet.For
others, structure is viewed as limiting a poem.The question then, is who
is right in this argument.Is structure necessary to a poem’Or does
structure just get in the way of good poetry’A consideration of two major
poets will show that both unstructured and structured forms are not only
acceptable, but capable of resulting in poets that are considered among the
best ever.These two poets are Walt Whitman and Robert Frost, each poet on
the opposite of the argument and yet both poets using their opposite
approach to create effective poetry.This leads to the final answer, which
is that the important point is not whether or not structure is used, but
whether the poet uses either structure or the absence of structure
Leaves of Grass was Whitman’sfirst published book and was noticed by
critics mainly because Whitman rejected standard verse form.In saying
that the work was noticed, it is important to emphasize that the work was
largely criticized for this aspect of it.One source describes the
criticism as being because of “its innovation in verse form – that it, the
use of free verse in long rhythmical lines with a natural, “organic”
structure” (The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia).At the same time, it is
important to note that the criticism that occurred should not be seen as a
sign of Whitman’s failure.Instead, it is best seen as a sign of Whitman’s
ability to question the methods of the time and attempt something new.
The other important point about Whitman’s free verse structure is
that it was not something created by accident.Instead, Whitman made a


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