Whitman--Not a Favorite of Mine

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I'm convinced that were he alive today, Whitman would vote for John Kerry.

from "Song of Myself"
Walt Whitman

              I celebrate myself, and sing myself,
              And what I assume you shall assume,
              For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.

              I loafe and invite my soul,
              I lean and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer grass.

              My tongue, every atom of my blood, form'd from this soil, this air,
              Born here of parents born here from parents the same, and their parents the same,
              I, now thirty-seven years old in perfect health begin,
              Hoping to cease not till death.

            Creeds and schools in abeyance,
            Retiring back a while sufficed at what they are, but never forgotten,
            I harbor for good or bad, I permit to speak at every hazard,
            Nature without check with original energy.

I will leave it to others (including Whitman himself) to celebrate the genius of Whitman, it has ever eluded me.

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Don't you think, though, that Whitman celebrating himself and singing himself is rather sporting, in that it frees the rest of us from doing it for him?

I was surprised to hear that Harold Bloom says Whitman "will teach you to think more comprehensively than Plato can." Wow -- Bartender, I'll have what Bloom's having.

Dear Tom,

What a refreshing prespective. I hadn't considered that.

Dear TSO,

Yes, Bloom is prone to the idiosyncratic, to say the least. However, I can support and admire him in his Shakespearian fetish.





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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on October 14, 2004 7:15 AM.

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