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Walt Whitman Angela Kelsey Leo Penny.

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1 Walt Whitman Angela Kelsey Leo Penny

2 Chronology 1819 Born May 31 at West Hills, Huntington Township, Long
Island, New York 1823    Family moved to Brooklyn, New York. 1825–30    Attended public school in Brooklyn. 1830–31    Office boy in lawyer’s office, then doctor’s; then printer’s apprentice. 1832–36    Various jobs: printer’s devil, handyman. 1836–41    Schoolteacher in Long Island.

3 1848 1841–47    Reporter and editor for various newspapers. Editor (1846) of Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Published (1842) Franklin Evans, or the Inebriate, a tract. 1848    Discharged from the Eagle. Visited New Orleans (worked on New Orleans newspaper) and traveled on the Mississippi River and the Great Lakes. 1849    Editor of the Brooklyn Freeman, a journal.

4 1850–54 Part-time journalist
1850–54    Part-time journalist. Carpenter and house builder in Brooklyn (with father). 1855    First edition of Leaves of Grass published in July. It contained twelve poems and a prose preface. 1856    Second edition of Leaves of Grass, containing twenty additional poems. Around 1854

5 1862–63    Went to Virginia to attend brother George, who had been wounded in Civil War, Did volunteer work in government hospitals. 1863–73    Lived most of the time in Washington, D.C. Worked for the government. 1864    Drum-Taps published. 1867    Fourth edition of Leaves of Grass.

6 1871 Fifth edition of Leaves of Grass
1871    Fifth edition of Leaves of Grass. Also published Democratic Vistas (a prose pamphlet). 1873    Suffered mild paralytic stroke. Moved to Camden, New Jersey. Mother died. 1876    Sixth edition of Leaves of Grass. 1879    Traveled to St. Louis to visit his brother Jeff. 1872

7 1881    Visited Boston to prepare the seventh edition of Leaves of Grass, published that same year.
1882    Specimen Days published. 1884    Bought house in Camden, where he lived the rest of his life. 1888    November Boughs published. 1889    Pocket-size edition of Leaves of Grass published for his seventieth birthday. 1887 with Nigel and Catherine

8 1891–92    Final (“deathbed”) edition of Leaves of Grass.
1892    Died March 26. Buried in Harleigh Cemetery, Camden 1891

9 The Form & Themes of Whitman’s Poetry
Whitman’s poems are used to : Explore his own self Eulogize democracy Express thoughts on life Themes in Whitman’s Poems: The Self The Body and the Soul Nature Time Mysticism (Cosmic Consciousness) Death Personalism Democracy ● Musical Elements 1.repetition & reiterative 2.Opera elements ● Language 1. sounds 2. “ing” form 3. archaic expressions 4. colloquial 5. foreign languages ● Imagery (figurative use of language) ● Symbolism

10 Whitman’s Achievement
As a poet and prophet – influence in American letters and modern poets. As a symbolist-- influence in Europe Emily Dickinson, Hart Crane, Marianne Moore … As a stylist– Allen Ginsberg Olympian stature

11 Introduction to Song of Myself (1881)

12 Song of Myself 1855 No Title 1856 A Poem of Walt Whitman, an American
Changes made indicates the more profound meaning of the poem from time to time.

13 Song of Myself (2) The search for self Parting civilization
Joining nature Union of body and soul Awaken to universality Perceiving all life Celebrating equality of body-soul Cosmic consciousness Identify self with all wonders Acknowledging the new religion Divinity and equality in men Calling and waiting for all to be with him

14 The Search For SELF What I Assume You Shall Assume
Observing a spear of summer grass…… Parting civilization - “Creeds and schools in abeyance.. ( )” “Houses and rooms are full of perfumes..( )” Joining Nature - “I will go to the bank by the woods to become undisguised and naked.. ( )” “Stop this day and night with me and you shall possess the origin of all poems.. ( )”

15 The Search For SELF What I Assume You Shall Assume
Union of soul and body – “I believe in you my soul…loafe with me on the grass..the hum of your valved voice..( )” “How you settle your head athwart my hips..parted the shirt from my bosom-bone, and plunge your tongue to my bare-stript heart..felt my beard…held my feet..( )” “the hand of God is the promise of my own..the spirit of God is the brother of my own..a kelson of the creation is love…( )”

16 Awaken to Universality
Perceiving all life Celebrating equality of body and soul Cosmic consciousness Identify self with all wonders

17 Awaken to Universality (2)
Perceiving all life “A child said What is the grass? ..( )” “ die is different from what any one supposed, and luckier..( )” “I pass death with the dying and birth with the new-wash’d babe..not contain’d between my hat and boot…( )” “..these tend inward to me..I tend outward to them..such as it is to be of theses more or less I am…( )” -Catalog showing presence in all walks of life, list of daily scenes ( )

18 Awaken to Universality (3)
Celebrating equality of body and soul “A learner with the simplest, a teacher of the thoughtfullest…of every hue and caste am I , of every rank and religion… ( )” “This is the grass that grows wherever the land is and the water is… ( )” “I play not marches for accepted victors only…for conquer’d and slain persons… ( )” “This is the meal equally set..for the wicked the righteous..I make appointments with all..the thief..heavy-lipp’d slave… ( )” “I am the poet of the Body and .. the Soul …of goodness ..of wickedness..( )”

19 Awaken to Universality (4)
Cosmic consciousness – full of God’s spirit “Walt Whitman, a kosmos, of Manhattan the son, Turbulent, fleshy, sensual, eating, drinking, and breeding, No sentimentalist, no stander above men and women or apart from them, no more modest than immodest…( )” “I will accept nothing which all cannot have their counterpart of on the same terms…( )” “With the twirl of my tongue I encompass worlds and volumes of worlds..speech is the twin of my vision…( )”

20 Awaken to Universality (5)
Identify Self with all wonders “Now I will do nothing but listen, to accrue what I hear into this song, to let sounds contribute toward it… ( )” “I hear sounds running together..I lose my breath..feel the puzzle of puzzles..that we call Being…( )” “Is this then a touch? Quivering me to a new identity…( )” “I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey-work of the stars…( )” - Limitless by time and space witnessing wonders

21 Acknowledging the New Religion
Divinity and equality in men “The friendly and flowing and women accept and desires him..behavior lawless as snow-flakes..words as simple as grass…( )” “I am he bringing help for the sick..heard what was said of the universe..admitting they were alive and did the work of their days..fill out better in myself..bestowing them freely on each man and woman…( )” “I know perfectly well my own egotism..would fetch you whoever you are flush with myself…( ) ”

22 Calling and Waiting for All to Be With Him
Individuality of SELF “Not I, not anyone else can travel that road for you, You must travel it for yourself. It is not far, it is within reach…( )” “I answer that I cannot answer, you must find it for yourself…( )” “The boy I love, the same becomes a man not through derived power, but in his own right. ( )” “If you want me again look for me under your boot-soles…( )”

23 Techniques & Themes A. Techniques: Workings of mind
Scenes of life- catalog => in search of SELF B. Themes: Continuity and divinity of life, man, nature Experience self with sensation for nature Achieve highest fulfillment by listening to all and exploration of self.

24 Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking
Background knowledge of the poem What is the poem about? The poem is about a young boy’s transition to a man, more importantly, a poet. It was a memory of the poet when he was a young boy. Skill

25 The poem was first published under the title, “A Child’s Reminiscence” in years later, in 1860, the title changed into “A Word out of the Sea.” The present edition “From Sea-Drift Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking” was a newly revised version in 1881.

26 Skills in the Poem Recalling memory of the poet himself (self experience of the poet) Repetition of words and phrases (see examples on P1038, the 4th stanza and 8th stanza) Frequently uses of the “ing” form Personification (see example on P1042)

27 There was a Child Went Forth
Background Knowledge of the poem What is the poem about? This poem is a great example of Whitman’s philosophy. He enjoys learning from nature. The poem shows us how a person can learns and grows from nature.

28 Similarities in the Two Poems
The Growth of consciousness The ideas of circulation and endlessness Nature objects

29 References: CliffsNotes: SparkNotes: Walt Whitman Archive

30 The poem was first published in 1856 of the edition as “Poem of the Child That Went Forth, and Always Goes Forth, Forever and Forever,” then published under the title of the present one in 1871.

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