Category Archives: Whitman (Walt)

Robin Williams Made Poetry Cool

Robin Williams gave us one of cinema’s greatest depictions of a literature teacher.

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Whitman’s Blast of Green Grace

Scott Bates’ homage to Walt Whitman tells of amorous encounters from the grass’s point of view.

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Student Learns from Learn’d Astronomer

One of my students took profound lessons from “When I Heard My Learn’d Astronomer.”

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Whoever Degrades Another Degrades Me

Whitman’s “Song of Myself” calls us to imagine the experience of the Other, just as Obama asked us to imagine the perspective of young black men.

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V-E Day, Whitman, and My 15 Minutes

My 15 minutes: during Slovenia’s 1995 V-E Day celebration I read Walt Whitman to a national television audience.

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Roger Ebert’s Kinship with Whitman

In reflecting on death and dying, Roger Ebert turned to literature rather than to film.

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Oh, Captain! Is Jeter’s Fearful Trip Done?

Seeing “the Captain” Derek Jeter break his ankle conjures up Whitman’s “captain” poem.

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Depressed about Politics? Read Whitman

Marilynne Robinson turns to Whitman to argue that American Democracy’s greatness lies in how it honors the individual soul.

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Teaching Integrity in High School English

Describing a high school English class that he teaches, Carl Rosin draws on the American Transcendentalists as he insists that his students live lives of integrity. His final assignment requires them to put what they have thought and read into action.

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Walt Whitman as Suicide Prevention

At a time when he was feeling depressed and suicidal, Michael Bourne discovered that Walt Whitman could get him to step beyond his “endless, self-constructed maze of Self.”

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I Hear America Singing

Today, for July 4, I offer up two ultra-American poems. Walt Whitman embraces multitudes” in “I Hear America Singing,” and Langston Hughes, in an addendum, mentions some of those Americans that, in the past, have been forgotten. May we all remember that America is astounding in its willingness to open itself to all people.

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Reading Whitman: My 15 Minutes of Fame

My 15 minutes of fame came when I read Walt Whitman’s “Oh Captain, My Captain” to the people of Slovenia. The occasion was the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II. As today is D-Day, it seems a good time to tell the story.

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Walt Whitman, William Blake, and Baseball

Film Friday The World Series between the Texas Rangers and the San Francisco Giants gives me an excuse for posting on what is, in my opinion, the greatest movie on baseball. Among the many virtues of Ron Shelton’s Bull Durham are its literary allusions and its literariness. Each year Annie Savoy (Susan Sarandon) chooses to […]

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