Comments on: Philosopher Whitman, Hello Again. Just another Looking for Whitman weblog Sun, 03 May 2015 01:39:09 +0000 hourly 1 By: Allison Crerie Tue, 10 Nov 2009 20:49:15 +0000 This was a great post, Brendon! I really hope you plan on making similar philosophical links to Whitman for your final project.

I, too, in my limited knowledge of philosophy have seen connections to Whitman. What is Song of Myself if not poetic philosophy? In the deathbed edition, especially the shorter poems, I noticed an influx of philosophical thought. For instance, “Portals” on page 608:

“What are those of the known but to ascend and enter the Unknown?
And what are those of life but for Death?”

Whitman, in his older and wiser years, makes a jump from the physical to the metaphysical. The poems of 1855, though certainly including thoughts on life and death, do not do so in such a broad and profound way as in 1891 and 1892. I would be interested to know how much Whitman studied philosophy between 1855 and 1891…?

By: Erin Longbottom Tue, 10 Nov 2009 18:05:55 +0000 I don’t know anything about philosophy, but I love this connection. Thanks for taking the time to explain it! It doesn’t seem like Whitman often interacts with other writers/writing in his work, so this is an interesting case.
You mention having to go back and read the surrounding poems to really get a sense of what this particular poem was about. This is something that I think is really interesting and cool about Whitman. It’s almost like he’s writing more of a novel than a book of poetry sometimes. There are short little snips of poems that couldn’t possibly stand on their own, but put in a larger context of a cluster, have so much meaning.

By: jpike1 Tue, 10 Nov 2009 17:25:43 +0000 Relating Whitman to Hegel really helped me capture the hopeful Whitman that longs for a better American society. Thank you for the insight into Hegel’s beliefs! After learning more about Hegel, I agree that Whitman followed Hegel’s ideas about a society learning from the previous society. When I was looking at By The Roadside, I stumbled upon I Sit And Look Out and thinking about Whitman’s desire to spread his message with future generations and create a better society I wonder why he would end the poem with “See, hear, and am silent” because, as we all know Whitman was anything but silent…

By: mscanlon Tue, 10 Nov 2009 15:49:38 +0000 Here’s a line from “A Backward Glance o’er Travel’d Roads that I know you’ll love: “(I think I have at least enough philosophy not to be too absolutely certain of any thing, or any results.)”

This was a really helpful post, Brendon, for its info about Hegel, whom I haven’t had the distinct pleasure of reading in a long time. The connection to W’s philosophy seems clear.

“(Womb? Christ imagery? You decide)” Are you calling for a Natalie-Chelsea wrestling match?

That midair eagle-loving poem had the censorious public beside itself, btw.