Frost and Whitman

Robert Frost and Walt Whitman rank among the most venerable and quotable poets, not just in America where they lived but also all over the world. The two poets won acclaim for delving into philosophical issues that trouble the human mind (Burr, 2002). Their different background and upbringing inevitably influence their writing styles, philosophical understanding and thoughts on society. Their poems share similarities such as use of analogies and symbolism, genre, and thematic concerns but also differ in structure, form, and the seriousness with which they treat their subjects and themes. This paper will explore various poems from the two American poets with a view to extrapolate the similarities and differences.
To a careful reader, the similarity in the use of analogies and symbolism by the two writers is evident. Frost’s “A Road not Taken”, the most memorable and quotable of his poem, for instances, uses the analogy and symbolism of a road and a traveler to convey a message on decision-making. Of Frost’s abilities, using nature to symbolize complex ideas ranks as the most enduring (Bloom, 2010). The traveler in this poem is walking on a road, encounters a cul-de-sac and had to choose between two roads, one travelled and the other less travelled. To his imagination, the road travelled was easy because other travelers had beaten the track and made it smoother. The one less travelled was rough and he had to beat the track to make a road. It is an emotionally charged moment, an experience that compels him to make a critical decision. The poem symbolizes experience in life where human beings have to make tough decisions. Frost urges readers not to make easier decisions to conform to others but instead make choices that will make them extraordinary even if there is uncertainty.