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Putting My Whitman Where My Womb Is

In which I pay essentialist homage to the [Womanly?] Whitman. […]

A Whitman Sampler in the Age of Modernism

In thinking about Whitman’s legacy, I got curious about how much Modernist writers beyond Pound and Williams were engaging him– that is, how much he’d become a common name or referent in writing of the time. So I went to the awesome and ever-growing Modernist Journals Project to poke around. A search for “Walt Whitman” […] […]

How could I have forgotten? For 11/17

I can’t believe I forgot to scan this, but check it out: “A Pact” by Ezra Pound I make a pact with you, Walt Whitman – I have detested you long enough. I come to you as a grown child Who has had a pig-headed father; I am old enough now to make friends. It […] […]

Whitman(i)ac Brilliance: Poems on Fieldtrips

“Get Well Soon ” Once steady hands now faltering from your fall, this hand that penned mountains, sung through ferry waters, hewn rough earth boys, their bodies taken by war as your body has taken you. You, the kosmos, can not be taken by such human failings. Calamus cane in hand, stand erect, your perpetual […] […]

S/T-weet Victory

Cartoon Free Lance Star, 11/3/09 […]

Favorite Manuscript Moment

I am indebted to Other Sam for drawing my attention to this very moving detail. One of the best things I saw at the Library of Congress was Whitman’s letter of December 29, 1862 (that is, exactly 106 years before the day I was born), to his mother about finding George in Fredericksburg. We were […] […]

Whitman’s Notebooks (and a butterfly)

Whitmaniacs, go HERE NOW for a Library of Congress link for schoolteachers that has digitized images of some of Whitman’s notebooks, including from the Civil War (and a wrenching photo of a dead confederate solider in Spotsylvania). Don’t just look, READ: their names, their mother’s names, their ages, where they worked, where they’re from, which […] […]

Whitman Digital; or, a quotation poem with apologies to Dan Cohen

This afternoon I heard a lecture by Dan Cohen called “The Future of the Digital University,” and as I listened I started this list of words and phrases he said, in the order he said them, that seemed to me to be about WW as much as about the digital world, showing yet again the […] […]

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 […] […]


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 […] […]

Song(s) of Myself

When I read Brady’s comment on my last post, I felt a shock of (non) recognition. The lines of WW’s that Brady quoted were absolutely perfect for that post (thank you, Brady!) and I wished like anything I’d thought of them myself. But I couldn’t have, because I swear to god they weren’t in the […] […]

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, […] […]