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Walt Whitman Discussion Group's Journal

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

10:35PM - Walt and Gerard

x-posted in gmhopkins

Hopkins and Whitman: Mother Nature's Sons

Tamora Whitney, PhD. Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska, USA

Here’s a fascinating essay about the surprising similarities between Gerard Manley Hopkins and Walt Whitman—and they’re not merely superficial ones:
Read more...Collapse )

Current mood: artistic

Sunday, September 23, 2007



Help me, please

I write the article about Walt Whitman & Vladimir Mayakovsky.

I kindly ask you to recommend me any works of American researchers which may by me helpful.

Thank you in advance.

Thursday, June 29, 2006


Hello, I don't normally post here, but I like to read the posts. However, this time I have a question. Forgive me, I am not as well versed as some of you are.

In the poem "American Feuillage" by Walt Whitman, I need to know what in the world "tylandria" is.


Beginning of the poemCollapse )
In lower latitudes, in warmer air, in the Carolinas, the large black
buzzard floating slowly, high beyond the tree-tops,
Below, the red cedar, festooned with tylandria--the pines and cypresses,
growing out of the white sand that spreads far and flat;
Rude boats descending the big Pedee--climbing plants, parasites, with
coloured flowers and berries, enveloping huge trees,
The waving drapery on the live oak, trailing long and low, noiselessly
waved by the wind;
the rest of the poemCollapse )

Wednesday, May 25, 2005


I heard about this community from omega_male and thought I'd swing by. I've been a Whitman fanatic since I took Sherry Ceniza's Whitman seminar when I was working on my Master's. Love at first sight. Whitman was the only author I ever felt passionately enough to consider getting a PhD and (more tellingly) writing a dissertation. As I hate most of the 19th Century, and I'm not really a poetry person, and given that my husband is a tenured prof in 19th C. lit (he's a Melville scholar...up until this year he wrote the Melville chapter for American Literary Scholarship), the job prospects would be truly abysmal. I've been collecting original editions of Leaves where I can find AND afford them (which hasn't been often lately), and I was really excited when the 150th anniversary facsimile Leaves arrived a couple of weeks ago. I was really excited to hear about the conference, which I wasn't able to make. I did make the Whitman panel at a conference last May in San Francisco and really enjoyed it.

General info:
My favorite edition of Leaves is the 1860. I've been incredibly drawn to "Noiseless Patient Spider" and "When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer" lately. I'm planning a reread of Leaves this summer, but I haven't decided which edition. I also want to confess being a bit disappointed with the Fred Hersch thing. I was expecting more barbaric yawp. Have I been listening too much to Allen Ginsberg?

3:19PM - A Very Late Report of the 150th Leaves of Grass Convention

Not too long ago, I was lucky enough to get to attend the Leaves of Grass: 150th Anniversary Conference in at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. It was probably the best conference I've ever been to, for a number of reasons.

First, I've never seen such a concentration of the experts on a single author in one place. Most of my bookshelf of criticism on Whitman was there--or the authors of those books. The papers were almost uniformly excellent, and there were some very eye-opening revelations about the 1855 frontispeice--I'll try to explain them in a later post, if I can find the right graphics. Talking about it doesn't do it justice.

But my favorite aspect of the conference was probably the people it attracted who /weren't/ professional scholars. The poet-Laureate of Milwaukee, Antler, was there--an extraordinary guy who writes in the Whitman vein--along with his friend, Jeff Poniewaz, also a poet and a teacher.

They could have seemed very out of place, but talking to them, I got the idea they understood Whitman as well or better than most of the people there. They told me about the role Whitman had played in their early lives and in their relationship--Whitman speaking from the book and becoming a friend to the friendless, and later helping bring them together.

Later, I talked to a guy who does Whitman impersonations for Civil War reenactments--a very cool guy--and a number of distinguished Whitman collectors, including one who uses Whitman's poetry in his medical practice.

There was a true variety of people--from hippies to Harvard professors--there. And seeing them all brought together by their interest in and sometimes love of Whitman's poetry was really something.


Hello all. I just stumbled across this community. So glad to have found it! I had my first real exposure to Walt Whitman's poetry this spring when I took a Whitman and Dickinson course. I especially cherish the "Sea-Drift" poems. I love his focus on everyday people and their importance to him although he doesn't know them (this comes across in "Crossing Brooklyn Ferry").

A very good idea for college Whitman lovers is to have a gathering to read Leaves Of Grass on the grass! We did this at my school and it was such a great close to the semester. There were lots of copies of the text lying on blankets and people just read whatever they wanted from them. I definately recommend this.

Tuesday, March 1, 2005


Does anyone know if there is ONE book with ALL of Whitman's work?

Monday, January 24, 2005

7:13PM - Fred Hersch's Leaves of Grass

Jazz pianist Fred Hersch is releasing a CD next month of his suite based on Leaves of Grass. He will be giving a number of live performances of the piece throughout the year.

Here's a brief NPR piece from last year about Hersch and Whitman:


Here's some information about the piece (including a review from the Washington Post) from Fred's website:


And here's a listing of Fred's tour schedule, which includes a number of performances of Leaves of Grass:


Thursday, September 23, 2004

7:42PM - Walt said:

this is what you shall do: love the earth and sun and animals, despise
riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy,
devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning
god, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to
nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with
powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of
families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of
your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any
book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a
great poem... -walt whitman

Sunday, August 29, 2004



The first LJ community, as far as I can tell, devoted to Ralph Waldo Emerson.


Tuesday, August 3, 2004

1:27PM - Re: A simple hello

I was just browsing when I ran across this discussion group. I have been an admirer of the first truly American poet for some time now and just wanted to introduce myself.

Current mood: optimistic

Tuesday, June 8, 2004

8:28PM - Something to share...

Hello everyone. I apologize that this is not a discussion post, but I made these livejournal icons inspired by my favorite part of "Song of Myself." So, I thought I should share them with the community.

If you are going to use them, I ask that you please credit "golddustforpele." Enjoy!

Song of Myself iconsCollapse )

Sunday, May 16, 2004


Hello Everyone! I just happened upon this community and I think I like it. Walt Whitman is, for some reason, the only poet whose poetry.... sounds good to me. Even if I don't understand, it just sounds so beautiful. Anyways, just wanted to introduce myself.

Sunday, February 22, 2004


i love song of myself. :) makes me happy.

"Do I contradict myself? Very well then, I contradict myself (I am large, I contain multitudes.)."

Saturday, October 4, 2003

3:29PM - just throwing it out there...

ive been reading a book on goddess' and mythology. i just read about Isis, the egyptian goddess of the heavens. When her husband and lover (Osiris, with whom she shared a soul) was killed she treked all over the world searching for him. The book says this was her call:

"My tears flood the land.
They burn my face.
Do not forsake me, Osiris.
Come to your sister.
Take away the pain in my body.
You who never found fault with me.
Do not leave me.
Heaven has fallen through to earth.
I walk the roads searching for you.
Fire burns in my heart.
I grieve that you are alone.
I stretch my arms out to greet you."
-(a goddess is a girls best friend by laurie sue brockway)

it reminded me of walt whitman. leave it to me to find a walt whitman correlation...

"Hither, my love!
Here I am! Here!
With this just-sustain’d note I announce myself to you;
This gentle call is for you, my love, for you.

Do not be decoy’d elsewhere!
That is the whistle of the wind—it is not my voice;
That is the fluttering, the fluttering of the spray;
Those are the shadows of leaves.

O darkness! O in vain!
O I am very sick and sorrowful.

O brown halo in the sky, near the moon, drooping upon the sea!
O troubled reflection in the sea!
O throat! O throbbing heart!
O all—and I singing uselessly, uselessly all the night.

Yet I murmur, murmur on!
O murmurs—you yourselves make me continue to sing, I know not why."
-(from out of the cradle endlessly rocking by walt whitman)

Current mood: dorky

Friday, May 23, 2003


does anybody else find themselves struggling with the agon of america then, and america now.
the beauty of whalt whitman to me is just plain america. It's the breadth of the land....its everything

i guess my question is (and i would appreciate help) about the difference betwixt "self" and "soul". i know that whitman wanted song of my "self" on purpose--what does this mean? isnt the "self" topical, and the soul, the true person, deep and sagacious.
and what does it mean in the poem when self and soul procreate... ( i forget the lines?)
i'm a 19 year old student and a stupid idiot withal. someone please help me

Saturday, January 11, 2003


I just joined this community and I'd like to say hi! I'm an art student and I also like to write poetry.

I also joined because I need your help finding a Whitman quote:"When I would recreate myself I seek the thickest, most impenetrable, and to the citizen, most dismal swamp."

I'm sure that I've misquoted it, but hopefully it's enough to go by.

I had this on my walls for years. Then my apartment burned down and well... Anyway, I just can't remember what it's from.


Thursday, October 31, 2002


Most poets are like a belly dancer
who never reveals anything below her waist...

I won't tease you like that
for I love when your
eyes get


Sunday, October 13, 2002

12:47AM - To the States

Why reclining, interrogating? why myself and all drowsing?
What deepening twilight--scum floating atop of the waters,
Who are they as bats and night-dogs askant in the capitol?
What a filthy Presidentiad! (O South, your torrid suns! O North, you arctic freezings!)
Are those really Congressmen? are those the great Judges? is that the President?
Then I will sleep awhile yet, for I see that these States sleep, for reasons;
(With gathering murk, with muttering thunder and lambent shoots we all duly awake,
South, North, East, West, inland and seabord, we will surely awake.)

From "Drum-Taps" 1860

12:45AM - To a Certain Civilian

Did you ask dulcet rhymes from me?
Did you seek the civilian's peaceful and languishing rhymes?
Did you find what I sang erewhile so hard to follow?
Why I was not singing erewhile for you to follow, to understand--nor am I now;
(I have been born of the same as the war was born,
The drum-corps' rattle is ever to me sweet music, I love well the martial dirge,
With slow wail and convulsive throb leading the officer's funeral;)
What to such as you anyhow such a poet as I? therefore leave my works,
And go lull yourself with what you can understand, and with piano-tunes,
For I lull nobody, and you will never understand me.

--From _Drum Taps_, 1865, current version 1871.

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