Sep 21, 2012


Read this amazing essay by David Baker on "Song of Sanity. Walt Whitman in Washington" in the latest issue of The Virginia Quarterly Review:

Walt Whitman was a poet of hope and encouragement, but his greatest poem is bleak at heart, ripped bloody, and shredded with despair. He was our verbal cheerleader, our avid egoist as well as our most enthusiastic inclusionist:

O to make the most jubilant song!
Full of music—full of manhood, womanhood, infancy!
Full of common employments—full of grain and trees!

O for the voices of animals!
Thus he warbles, making room with his constant, necessary roll-call for us all in “A Song of Joys.” Yet his greatest poem finds him desolate... MORE HERE

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