My Experience in the Looking for Whitman class was an especially complicated but beneficial one. I think that Whitman himself was a difficult person to completely understand within a short amount of time. At the same time, I learned to keep trying at the things I want to achieve, and to look more deeply at what New York has to offer because there are a lot of ancient places that are still standing that I never knew existed before, and also all about Whitman’s life of course.
The class was overall a good one. We had people in there that were willing to learn and explore the World of Whitman along with the rest of us, so I appreciated the people that we had in the class. Now Professor Gold is an exceptional teacher. Not only does he have a positive personality, but he is eager to learn and to get his students to understand the material, while being open to new suggestions and ideas. To have a professor who is excited about what they are teaching and is willing to help in whichever way possible is the teacher that I have found in Professor Gold and the type of teacher I need for the rest of my classes.
The projects that we have done in this class were interesting for the most part. Some were more appealing than others, but all were somewhat fun projects. One of my favorite projects was the Material Culture project. In that project we basically had to pick a topic and explain what it’s all about while also connecting it to Walt Whitman. This was a favorite because I had to make a new blog working on the computer and show my classmates and other students within the overall project why my topic was unique. Another one of my favorite parts of the class was the walking tour. The walking tour was good not only because that was the first opportunity we had to explore Whitman’s Brooklyn from outdoors, but also because I got a chance to observe a part of New York City in a new light and began to have a new respect for it. By the way it was a nice day out that day too. The Old Brooklyn Ferry was another place we went that I did my independent blog post on. It was cool to see where and how Whitman and a lot of other people got across the water from Brooklyn to Manhattan every day, whether it be to work or school. I enjoyed seeing the different kinds of boats that day. I saw water taxis, police boats, transportation boats across the water and regular boats that were just bypassing.
I enjoyed the class and our exploration of finding Walt Whitman. I think that this class was a beneficial one that allowed students to study and work but differently outside the classroom and using modern technology to capture our discoveries. I hope that other students will be eager to learn and understand about Whitman as well as the world outside of our mundane lives.
This blog is the “Where Danique found Whitman” segment of the project, but this another video of me reading Walt Whitman’s poem. I really liked this poem. It was interesting because it was one of the things I often wonder about often. The poem was called “To think of Time.”
I think that because I have taken the long journey to find Whitman. I figured why not find him in my house. So I did. I found Whitman in my home. This I feel was a relevant place because it was there that I did most of my work, projects, and blogs in response to Whitman’s work.
I thought that I should make it unique though. So Iset up a little scene that I thought Whitman would be proud of as I tried to imitate his style of dress, and what might look like the work place of a well known writer, journalist, and poet. Hopefully it captures my goal showing viewers how I view Whitman. But I think that the actual video does not capture the creativity and the background I set up.
Walt Whitman’s novel, Franklin Evans, or The Inebriate: A Tale of the Times, Walt Whitman explains the dangers of addictions such as alcohol. This temperance novel which Walt Whitman openly denies as his own, I believe is a way of including the effects that alcohol had on his own life. Walt Whitman, I believe, included this information indirectly and changed the names of the characters so that he can tell his story but at the same time not embarrass his family. One of the things that I believe that sparked this temperance novel was the result and the effect he saw that alcohol had on his father that he experienced as a young boy.
The story Walt Whitman presents his audience with this dramatic tale of a country boy that ultimately is heading on a road of destruction. Franklin, the country boy travels to the city and gets caught up in drinking alcohol. As time proceeds everything begins to crumble. Franklin eventually loses his wife, his job and his freedom, as a consequence of getting involved with a gang of thieves. Franklin after his release from prison turned to alcohol which leads him into a regrettable marriage to a Creole slave. Franklin’s wife Margaret ends up killing herself because her husband has an affair with a widow from the North, whom Margaret poisons out of a jealous rage.
Whitman tells people when asked about the novel, that he wrote the novel while he was intoxicated, drinking cocktails. That may be true because he is an exceptional writer. He told people not to take this novel seriously. Whitman preached and practiced the ability of temperance throughout his life. Walt Whitman was known to participate in a number of temperance movements such as the meetings and parades of the Washingtonians, who made up the older American Temperance Society. Although he denounced this novel, this was not the only Temperance tales Walt Whitman wrote.
Our class went to visit the Brooklyn Historical Society last Tuesday. Although the library was closed that day our tour guide was eager to help in any way she could. Our goal here was to gather as much information as we possibly could about a specific address that we chose, that relates to a place Walt Whitman may have been throughout his lifetime. Some of these address incorporated a specific place along with a number attached. The other addresses, including mine only had the cross streets and the avenues, making it a much more difficult task. There were both positive and negative aspects in dealing with my research.
On the positive side, our tour guide was an essential asset in helping all the confused students who never been introduced to a place like this, find the addresses. At the Historical Society, we came across a room full of atlases, land conveyances, directories, scrapbooks and regular books that revealed a lot of information about the past, dating back from 1699 to 1960. It seemed so unusual that there was a place like this so close to my school that showed various ways of obtaining information about the past. We take so much for granted, especially now, and do not take the time out to explore what our city has to offer. Even having a lot of resources at hand, I struggled most of the time finding useful information about my address.
My address was left without a number so I was unable to find any information throughout the two hours we were at the Historical Society. I looked through the atlases first and found the possible cross streets of my address. Then, I tried to look at the directories and scrapbooks and I did not find any helpful information. This was why the process of finding the data about my specific address was unsuccessful for that day.
Overall, this field trip to the Brooklyn Historical Society was not very successful. It helps a lot if you have a lot of information to work with even before you start research. Since I was lacking part of the key information that needed to be gathered, my experience of trying to find the actual location did not go well. It became frustrating after I looked several times at the directories, and atlases. As soon as I was on the verge of discovering something new about this address, there was no more time left to record my findings. Well maybe next time.
Last class was a very interesting one. Our class went on a mini scavenger hunt looking for the many places Whitman would have been throughout Brooklyn. We went on a walking tour in downtown Brooklyn. It was interesting to know the different areas Whitman would go to eat, work, explore nature etc.
During our walking tour our first stop was at the Camden Plaza. Whitman walked through this place daily to arrive at Prince Street where he worked on the first edition of Leave of Grass. This is the place Whitman was when he gathered his thought and creatively put them into a collection of poems that would inspire the people to look at the world in a whole different perspective.
We arrived at our next location, Plymouth Church. As our tour guide, Jesse Merandy talked about how the Plymouth church was well known for assisting in the Abolition movement. During 1847, that church was the only one available and many people from all over the city went to hear Henry Ward Beecher preach, including Walt Whitman. Beecher often shed light on encouraging anti-slavery that would grasp the focus of the congregation. One of the ways the church helped with anti-slavery was to hold mock auctions to bid for slave’s freedom. Walt Whitman was inspired by Beecher’s preaching and his style of writing. I think that is why Whitman had such a powerful impact in his writing as he directly spoke to his audience.
I really enjoyed visiting the Plymouth Church and how polite the speaker was that was enlightening us on the history of the Church. There were many famous people during the earlier years that went the church including George Washington, Harriet Beecher Stowe and many others. The church amazingly is still standing and is in good shape. This was the first time in a long time that I heard an interesting story about a popular historical place. I liked hearing about the Plymouth Church because before this trip I never knew how popular or important this church was too many people, but after our discussion, there I finally understood.
My tour experience was worth the time because I learned something new while doing it for school. I never thought I would say nor do that. One of the memorable places that we went to was the Brooklyn Ferry Terminal. Although it was blocked off the day we went as a class I went there the day before and noticed that there were writings on the rails of the terminal. It seemed to be something that Whitman would write, but I wasn’t too sure. It turns out that those writings were actually Walt Whitman’s on the Fulton Ferry landing. I didn’t find this out until my class went on this tour.
This tour taught me a lot about the appreciation of art, to not take things for granted that are around you and appreciate the things which are in front of you, and to not be afraid to explore the past because it can reveal a lot about yourself and your surroundings.
The history of the Brooklyn ferry is quite interesting. The ferry in Brooklyn dates back to 1643. Many of us were too young to understand what this invention had to offer at the time, but it became a great way to travel. Not only were the people on the ferry able to view the sites of New York from on the waters but there they were able to finally just take a load off from their long day and head home.
The Brooklyn ferry was very important and useful to many people. This ferry connected Brooklyn to Manhattan for all those who worked in Brooklyn, but lived in Manhattan. The ferry provided a way for workers to commute back and forth between the two boroughs. It also, during the 1640’s was a primary source of transporting goods between islands.
During the 1800’s there were many different routes on the waterfront in Brooklyn coming from places such as Bay Ridge, Brooklyn Heights and Greenpoint to Brooklyn. These routes had different times that they would come and pick up passengers according to the rush hour and when the ferry boats will be needed.
Not only was this method of travel important to commuters and people who transported goods across the waters to the islands, but also to Walt Whitman, an American poet. Walt Whitman looked at this scene of the masses of people entering the ferry boat to return home and even wrote about his experience actually travelling by ferry. In his poem, “Crossing the Brooklyn Ferry,” Whitman took something as simple as the tides and the journey the boat makes to get to its destination as a deeper meaning of the journey of our spirit and soul. He often found ways to connected to his audience and found that travelling by the Brooklyn ferry was one of them. Not only could the commuters learn and experience what he did traveling, but in turn he would also learn from them and be taught by his fellow peers. Whitman often took the time out to sit and visualize far beyond the expectations of a non-writer, so this adventure of learning what the people around him had to offer wasn’t a hard task.
For October 20, 2009
We have come across many different types of relationships during our lives. One of the things that make it so special is that they are all unique. There are all different forms of relationships such as one between friends, a partner, a husband or wife, a serious long term, or a short-term, a mother-son or daughter, a father-son or daughter, or even friends with benefits type of relationship. In all manners, these are all ways in which people have become one and bonded with each other. Although all of them are essential, one of the major relationships is a mother-son relationship. Here is a depiction of how the strength the bond between a m0ther and son should be.
A.R. Kennington Art
From birth, there was a bond formed that no one could ever be replaced. That beautiful picture of birth itself, then to a son can be beneficial. It has been said many times that a mother is closer to her son and a father is more attached to his daughter. Having both parents to guide a child through the ins and outs of life is special, but both a mother and father provide different ideas that the other rarely can understand. A mother makes her son strong and provides that stability that he will need to sustain in life. While a father teaches his son to be strong enough to even fight with the world, it is the mother who teaches her son to distinguish when and where to think from his heart.
From the time a mother enters into her son’s life, she is worried about someone taking her place. As the son matures, he will possibly have a woman in his life that he cares and adores as much as his mother. As long as the son reassures his mother that no one can take his place, then his mother can be at ease with his decision for a future partner. The mother also has to learn not to hold on to her son and understand that he must group up sometime.
Walt Whitman and his mother, Louisa Van Velsor Whitman had this type of unbreakable relationship. Whitman loved his mother and cherished her even after her death in May 1873. Whitman at a young age took on a fatherly role for the rest of his family, being the second eldest child. He often described it as “a very restless and unhappy,” time for him Kaplan 62). Although he continued to look after his family until his death, he was noted to be only closest to his mother and his two sisters born after him, named Hannah and Mary and Eddy, who he treated as a son and Jeff, whom he called his only real brother, in a family of eleven. I believe that the relationships formed with the females in his life, further gave him an affectionate and compassionate personality. An example of this is seen when Whitman’s mother spends the day with an American Indian woman. “My mother looked in delight and amazement at the stranger,” and “The more she looked upon her she loved her, / Never before had she seen such wonderful beauty and purity” (LG 1855, 74) (Folsom, Price).
They Had been taught by their mothers
During her most crucial moments, Louisa would call on Whitman to help. After the war the Whitman family began to crumble. His brother Andrew was sick, Jesse began to grow violent, and his sister Hannah was in a failing marriage to an abusive husband. Of course Louisa was genuine in her decision to call Whitman for help, since he was the father figure of the household. By this time, Whitman was in Washington, and his family residing in New York. Whitman compassionately took the trip to New York, to be at his mother’s side during her time of need, while also experiencing the death of his brother Andrew. Forced to reckon with reality, the lonely and confused Whitman returned to Washington.
Because his father, Walter wasn’t suitable to completely provide for his family like he should have. Walter often turned to alcohol and had phases of depression, causing Whitman to bear adult responsibilities, and his family to be dependent upon Whitman. . Whitman took on the role as a substitute father. Loaded with concerns and issues within his family, Whitman with the help of his mother tried to rebuild up what was left of their family.
Not the best years of his life, Whitman experienced a collection of life changing events. In January 23, 1873, Whitman had a stroke, his sister-in-law died of cancer, and tragically, in May of the same year his mother died. Trying to piece back his life again, Whitman moved back to Camden, New Jersey. This rode of darkness that he experienced during this year left him confused and alone in the world, lacking the motherly love he was accustomed to.
- Kaplan, Justin. Walt Whitman: A Life.
- Folsom, Ed and Kenneth M. Price. Re-Scripting Walt Whitman: An Introduction to His Life and Work. Blackwell Publishing in 2005. http://www.whitmanarchive.org/criticism/current/anc.00152.html.