Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Walt Whitman

Now just in case you didn’t read yesterday’s blog, I am including a link to one of Walt Whitman’s poems being read aloud below:


Walt Whitman lived from 1819 to 1892 and is well known for his book of poetry titled Leaves of Grass and was considered controversial for its time. My father has this book, and I picked up Walt Whitman’s Selected Poems by Gramercy Books at the local library. Poets.org also has information on his life at the following link if you wish to hear more:


In addition, let me add some information gleaned from this book at the site mentioned above: Walt Whitman was born in Long Island, New York and raised in Brooklyn. His father was a farmer who was also uneducated but Whitman left at the age of 13 for a job at a newspaper and worked his way up to being an editor. In 1855 he published the well known book, Leaves of Grass and marked his debut into the world of poetry. This book was considered so outrageous that he lost his job as a clerk in the Department of Interior because Secretary James Harlan disapproved of his works. So if you ever though Whitman was boring because of your school days, let me assure you, he is not.

An excerpt from poem #21 that I particularly enjoy has these attention-grabbing lines:

The pleasures of heaven are with me, and the pains of
hell are with me,
The first I graft and increase upon myself….the latter I
Translate into a new tongue.

(the “….” Within the poem lines IS supposed to be there, I did not leave any words out).
Thanks for dropping in and I hope you will listen to Walt Whitman’s poem included in the link above. I’ll see you tomorrow for more linked poems I enjoy…

P.S. Let me just gush for a minute here about two wonderful men: Justin Barrett and Joseph Shields. Let me explain! I ordered a copy of Justin Barrett’s chapbook The Magnificent Seven from the Guerrilla Poetics Project Store and he enclosed a short hand-written letter! AND!!! Joseph Shields ALSO enclosed a short hand-written letter thanking me for subscribing to Nerve Cowboy. Thank you gentlemen! Not only does the chapbook and the journal rock, you have totally sealed the deal for my devotion by taking the time to send hand written letters thanking me for my interest in your journal/chapbook hoping I would enjoy them. I do enjoy them! Both are marvelous! I am thrilled that hand-written letters are still out there, thought I was one of the few who still did that…
Oh, and don’t worry Sheena, I include you in the hand-written letter category, too.
Thanks for making my week everybody!

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