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Poetry and the Book
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In “Democratic Vistas”, Walt Whitman calls for an American literary revolution. He asserts that American poetry should reach towards the future; that American poetry should strive to create a society of strong, active readers through intellectual complexity; and that American poetry should break from European literary traditions. Whitman’s poetry carries out this revolution only partially; his poetry extends towards the modern, yet still somewhat clings to European traditions. This paper posits Whitman as a precursor of literary modernism, examines his influence on American modernist poetry, and explores the ways in which four American modernist poets fulfil his call for revolution.
Patterson, Zoe, "A Nineteenth-Century Modernist: Walt Whitman’s Influence on American Modernist Poetry" (2019). Selected Undergraduate Works. 11.