At one time or another, every man or woman of conscience has raised their hands in the air or shaken their fists and cried in wonder at the whole of human suffering and strife. The poem “America” by Allen Ginsberg, and the poem “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry” by Walt Whitman share the author’s vision of America in their time, and reflect America’s struggles and their personal struggles. Each author uses imagery and declaration to broadcast their view of the world and their concerns for the future.
Both poems talk about America and its place in the world, and the relationships with other countries. Whitman saw New York, and the growing industry as youthful and full of promise,
Ginsberg saw the same America trying to shake off Puritanism and find its place in a complicated world,
Both poems discuss America and the authors place in it.
In construction, each poem is written as the authors voice or the author’s thoughts presented to an unknown listener. Each poem is divided into stanzas of varying length, and each poem is written using short and long lines.
Both authors, Ginsberg and Whitman, were living through trying and challenging times. Each man concludes there is good in the world, but we still have much work to do, Whitman says,
Ginsberg is clear about the work that needs doing,
Each author’s period in history caused men of conscience to question their beliefs and reaffirm their duty.