- Whitman – naming victims to add humanity
– Details -> close focus
- Melodrama of Whitman’s prose
– Sexy: Sense of desiring the bodies even in their death
- Tones of Whitman’s poems changes after he works in a military hospital
– diarrhoea + discharge
- In theory we are all equal
– Union Patriotism vs. Far-reaching – for all dead
– Too much PLURALITY?
– Is it overwritten?
– Form following function – “war is too much”
– American bigness
– What does a list do, grammatically?
– Lists as a democratic, equalising form
- Info point: Diagramming Sentences
- Democracy is partly lyric
- bivouac – “hard camping”
– How does “By the bivouac’s fitful flame” work as a poem?
– Private, tender moments, philosophical considerations
– Poem of bonds + equality
– Juxtaposing beauty + battle
- Sketch artist
- How does photography influence our perception of the truth?
- Is Whitman writing from experience or from a photo?
- Whitman as a formal response to the idea of America
– What does the poem do?
– Whitman tries to make himself a metaphor for America
— Whitman becomes a metonym
– What does the journalism do?
— Journalism as one of the things that “make America great”
— Journalism as the foundation of American equality
— Ethics question of writing about the war without fighting
— “I can’t write the truth”
— War in Iraq: Whitman as first embedded journalist
— Whitman didn’t fight, but he still helped by bringing letters and supplies, green tea, searched for his brother
– Whitman stops being a journalist, wanders around the city, produces Leaves of Grass in 1855
— Whitman worked as a journalist for the Brooklyn Eagle
— Explosion of the printing press in New York at this time
— How are the journalism and the poetry relating to each other?
— Poems -> journalistic details -> cameos, place names
— journalistic gestures vs. poetic gestures in the collection
— Leaves of Grass: Anonymous Review! (written by Walt Whitman)
— DESIRE / idea of being solidified by affection
- What happens when you talk to a year, or to a month?
- Assignment: Write a poem “to” a year or month etc (as in Whitman’s)
- Romantic break ups
- Activism? Whitman cared about open space in the middle of the city, lungs