A second experience with the comparison of Emily’s beauty to Whitman’s gagfest? Very well, then:
Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)
The world’s biggest bragging poet thought he was somehow bigger and more important than ordinary people. He condescendingly celebrates them while thinking he’s so much better than them. If Echo’s Narcissus ever wrote poetry, it would be exactly like Walt Whitman’s.
If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I will not live in vain;
If I can ease one heart the aching,
Or cool one pain;
If I can help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I will not live in vain.
Emily had a servant’s heart. To her, the greatest achievement was to help someone else.
So tell me, which is more admirable? And which is more palatable?
Another pair of examples:
Whitman spent pages and pages saying he was the greatest, the best, and that he would be read for generations. He called himself America’s poet. (No, thank you! He my poet is not!)
Emily wrote this in one of her most famous poems:
For love of Her – Sweet – countrymen –
Judge tenderly – of Me