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Chelsea for October 20

In going through this week’s reading, it occurred to me that there is another “multitude” of Whitman’s that we have only briefly touched on that is quite worth discussing – Whitman as a father figure. Particularly throughout the Calder essay, where the tender Whitman we’ve spoken of seems at his best, Whitman’s envy and revere […] […]

Whitman Hunt

In my New Media class, we’re discussing the concepts of ARGs, which are kind of like simulated quests with storylines. Here’s a website about them: Anyway, one of the ARGs that the class is playing is called “Who is Grayson OziasIV, and where is his fortune?” It’s sponsored by our friends at Levi Strauss, and […] […]

Semi-Whitman Related Findings in Front Royal

I spent my break in Front Royal, and happened to go there on a day where they were having a street festival or something. Anyway, they had a little Confederate museum tucked away in the downtown area, and because of the festival we got to go for free! So two things that I think are […] […]

Whitman in Russia

I don’t think this is a very good article, but hey, it has got Whitman so it’s going in the blog. Clinton and Whitman […]

Under My Bootsoles Everywhere

I was reading in yesterday’s Washington Post in a piece called “Beyond ‘Great,’ to Exemplary” that Whitman’s “O Captain!” is one of about five works identified by the National Standards Initiative as it tries to give guidance to high school teachers about what students should know– with Austen, Morrison, and a few others, it was […] […]

Seeing the United States Civil War Style

Here is a clear, color-coded map from wikimedia commons that shows the US as Whitman knew it: seceeding states, Union states with slavery, Union states without slavery, territories. And here is one that shows the same, but in a more traditional cartography: […]

Erin for 10/6

A lot of what I was thinking about this week had to do with how Whitman compares to other civil war poets. Since my presentation this week is on “other civil war poetry” I’ve been reading Drum-Taps with the other poets in mind. It’s still weird to me how often times Whitman seems like he’s […] […]

Virginia S. for October 6th

Whitman’s triumphant, mostly optimistic, and hopeful tone in his earlier work evokes a sort of nostalgic happiness. Celebrating nature, mother earth, and humanity was the “name of the game” with Whitman. He wasn’t all love and happiness, he mentions horrors of life (like the slave passing through his house and how he put salve on […] […]

Jessica Pike for October 6th

The first thought that crossed my mind after reading all of “Drum-Taps” was that the Civil War had humbled Walt Whitman. It is difficult for me to imagine the 1855 Whitman and the 1892 Whitman as the same individual. In the 1855 Leaves of Grass Whitman even admits that he is egotistical and writes, “I […] […]

Reynolds, we meet again.

Reading Reynolds made me consider a side of Whitman I had not really looked at before, Whitman the Patriot. I knew he was a patriot, and I realized that he thought America was the greatest place on earth (he hadn’t had a chance to go to Disney World yet) but i hadn’t really considered the […] […]

Thursday Poems Planning

Ideas welcome here.

Sam Krieg for October 6

I am going to focus my blog on the Song of the Banner at Daybreak, and its dialogic style. The poem has five distinct speakers (the poet, the pennant, the banner, the child, and the father), which differs from Whitman’s previously-favored format of one single speaker that occasionally speaks for others. Through the interaction […] […]

Allison for Oct. 6

Here’s the cliche (maxim/adage/saying/whatever) running through my mind while reading Reynolds’ article and relating it to this week’s questions: blessing in disguise. Reynolds’ reminds us that even though the Civil War was horrible, many good things came of it; things that Walt Whitman, being the saucy prophet he is, desired and foresaw with a sense […] […]

Meghan for October 6

When we talk the periods of Whitman’s writing (or even every individual edition), Isometimes feel as if we’re talking about a different person, or at least something vaguely schizophrenic. Whitman goes through so much in the war; he goes from being the man who feels all and yet has done very little (in terms of […] […]

Chelsea for October 6

An interesting nuance between Drum-Taps and the rest of Walt Whitman’s work is his veer from the more personal address poem to a broader and more all-encompassing form of address. In these poems it seems he becomes less the prophet and removes himself almost as if he is letting the war speak for itself. This […] […]

Fredericksburg Fun!

Posting now, immediately following our Fredericksburg field trip, while everything is fresh and easily flowing from my fingertips. Our first stop was the battle ground on Sunken Rd, which was the site of an extremely bloody massacre of Union soldiers. The geography of Marye Heights gave the Confederates at easy victory, despite the fact the Union […] […]

Claim Staking Annotating Awesomeness

Hey Guys, Group A is staking a claim on “The Wound Dresser.” Love, Meg […]

For Brooklyn

Hi CUNY Whitman scholars, Here at UMW we’ve been finding poems that mention or respond to Whitman. This poem doesn’t do so directly, but it focuses on a love of Brooklyn that may resonate with your readings now: “On Leaving Brooklyn” after Psalm 137 If I forget thee let my tongue forget the songs it sang in this strange land and […] […]

Whitman and his Multitudes

So, in class tonight I was thinking about how many ways we’ve described Whitman. I thought it would be kind of cool to have a running list of the different names/personas we give to Whitman. I’m jotting down a few here, but since I don’t really have time to go back through all the blogs […] […]

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 […] […]

Under My Bootsoles 7: “Nurse Whitman”

Again, Sharon Olds: You move between the soldiers’ cots the way I move among my dead, their white bodies laid out in lines. ____ You bathe the forehead, you bathe the lip, the cock, as I touch my father, as if the language were a form of life. _____ You write their letters home, I take the dictation of his firm dream lips, this boy I […] […]

Sam Krieg for September 29

So, earlier in the semester, I posted about how Whitman’s soldier descriptions in Song of Myself were generalized and idealized, with a promise to update on how his writing changed once he got up close and personal with war. It’s hard to think of a better time to do just that. I am going […] […]

Chelsea for September 29

Whitman’s “batch of convulsively written reminiscences” (799) about the Civil War in “Specimen Days,” particularly his record of encounters with soldiers he cared for as a nurse, really started me thinking about what the war represented to Whitman. Obviously the day to day violence and massacre would take its toll on anyone, both physically and […] […]

Erin for 9/29

In response to the prompt and quote for this week, what did Whitman consider the “real” war to be? My interpretation, which could be wrong, is that Whitman saw the real war as the devastation that was felt by the families of soldiers and civilians, and the stories of the soldiers themselves. The history that […] […]

Jessica Pike for September 29

In the introduction to Memoranda, Whitman expresses his fears of the Civil War being forgotten and writes, “In the mushy influence of current times, the fervid atmosphere and typical events of those years are in danger of being totally forgotten” (5). However, in the lament Whitman gives, Whitman himself acknowledges that the “real war” can […] […]