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What the world thought of Whitman

Last night, I decided that enough of the semester had passed without me trying to tie Latin America in with Walt Whitman. So, going off some vague memory, I found an article written in praise of Whitman by Cuban writer José Martí (1853-1895). Martí was integral in motivating Cuba to separate from Spanish rule and establish itself, […] […]

Whitman in Maryland

I came across this story and video (do NOT skip the video, which features the poem “Beat! Beat! Drums!”, t-shirts with Whitman in slouch hat, a bad rendition of “I Kissed a Girl,” people spouting such hate it will give you shivers, and the weirdest dancing religious prostester I’ve seen in a long time) about […] […]

double standards?

I’ve been thinking about our discussion in class last week where some people were suspicious of Whitman on the grounds that he says everyone is equal but then clearly elevates himself as prophet or model (see self-reviews for his own discussion of this, by the way). I have had this same reaction to Whitman many […] […]

Dia-mono-(maniacal- bolical)-logic Whitman

Those of you who have suffered through other courses and projects with me know that one of my enduring obsessions is the dialogic and poetry. Dialogic can mean admitting or representing more than one or many voices, but a much richer definition would insist that it is more fundamentally an ethical encounter with the other […] […]


When Whitman says, “I contain multitudes,” or even, “I contradict myself,” he seems happy about the multiple identities that he occupies. I’ve been thinking about his imagined occupation of these many selves; for me and many other people I know, living in different roles (for me, primarily professor and mother) can be less harmonious and […] […]

What to Walt Whitman is the Fourth of July? A Belated Catalogue

This summer has found me thinking a lot more about the basic concept of our course: Whitman and place. “Place” to me is emerging not just as the streets of Fredericksburg and DC, though that is powerful, but also as a place in time or history–where is Whitman now, here? My ideas about it are […] […]

American Nutshell

For me, the real highlights of our Camden trip were of course the graveyard and house visits. What I can’t shake about the house on what used to be Mickle Street is the juxtaposition of signifiers: home of Walt Whitman, inspired, experimental communicator, Civil War nurse, poet-philosopher of democracy and national optimist + the broadened, […] […]