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Where I found Whitman!

December 16th, 2009 by oatakan

I found Whitman in Whitman Park

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December 14th, 2009 by oatakan

          At the beginning, I had concerns that class would be difficult and stressful, however by the time I got used to it. It was difficult to pick some lines of Whitman and write about it and it was difficult to understand the words he used. By the time I started enjoying it and never felt stressed while I was working on creating a blog.

           Field trips were so helpful that made class more fun and more informative.  The projects were interesting too, especially the address project which was my favorite. We really had done professional work on that. Being able to handle those historical documents and thinking through the history was a different enjoyable feeling for me.   Our visit to Brooklyn Historical Society and learning about maps and land conveyances became sample rewarding educational experience for me.  I didn’t know anything about Whitman when I registered for this class and I can see that now I made a perfect selection by choosing this class. Now I am able to see how great poet Whitman was. Briefly, Whitman thought me about life like how to be positive and love the life. Besides all, I also learned about blogging, posting such media and pictures.  

          Prof. Gold and Claire were very responsive and helpful.  Prof. Gold gave us great courage to create better work on exploring Whitman. Class discussions were so much fun that while we learn we developed friendships.   I would recommend this class to every student to experience unique settings of this class which is very enjoyable and especially biggest advantage of getting known of Whitman.

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Fort Greene, for Dec 01, oatakan

December 1st, 2009 by oatakan

DSCN0133DSCN0140 We had our second Whitman tour last week and I really enjoyed it. As a class we met at the Fort Greene Park which had monument dedicated for British Prison ship prisoners. A professional team greeted us. Leader of the team Greg Trupiano was passionate person about Whitman’s work.  It was obvious he knew very well about Whitman and the history. After hearing about Whitman and Fort Greene park  a wonderful voice Nicole sang us couple songs including The National Anthem, followed by a reader who read passages of Whitman. After all, it was interesting to know that some of the bones were collected from the shore and put into a room right on the stairs of the monument. Then we walked through the streets where Whitman lived through the myrtle avenue. We arrived at the address 99 Ryerson Street, where well known Whitman’s least changed place is is. The place looks very knew outside, however we were told just renovated outside, inside is still is the same as Whitman’s time. Over all, it was a great tour of Whitman in the neighborhood.

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America by Whitman and Jeans by Levi Strauss, oatakan for Nov 17th

November 17th, 2009 by oatakan


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       Few minutes ago, I was commenting on Levi’s commercial and now I think it will better if write about little more. First of all, it is astonishing work done by Levi’s and made me think about the concept. I searched through the Leaves of Grass and found the poem.

“Centre of equal daughters, equal sons,
All, all alike endear’d, grown, ungrown, young or old,
Strong, ample, fair, enduring, capable, rich,
Perennial with the Earth, with Freedom, Law and Love,
A grand, sane, towering, seated Mother,
Chair’d in the adamant of Time.”

                                            P 638

     In the background besides the Whitman’s voice we hear the loud explosives and slightly like Irish war band marching which reminds us the wars that America has been through and won during Whitman’s time. In the visual part, mostly young people, mixed race are active. The colors are chosen black and white which I guess to resemble the history that goes along with Whitman’s voice.  The part that I found joyful is to listen Whitman’s voice where he sounds passionate about America. Ant the words he chose are uniting people and that he defines the land of equal and freedom oriented people. As supportive qualities he adds love and law which I think signature qualities of American people. Briefly, excellent poem by Whitman and excellent work done by Levi’s which would make Whitman proud, if he were to live. I also found the time line of Levi’s jeans, if you ever wonder  when Levi Strauss started producing jeans you can follow the link.

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Old, Cold and Cool Place by oatakan, Nov 10

November 10th, 2009 by oatakan

        Last week we dived into the history in Brooklyn Historical Society Library. The place was  very interesting that you come cross to see these kinds of places in movies. I could sense the musty smell of books. It was very cold inside that reason was paper needed to be cold in order to survive more which I was told.  Some of the directory books were dated beginning of 19th century which was amazing for me to hold one. The most interesting part was looking at the enormous atlas and finding out about addresses. Basically we looked at directories and tried to find out information about Whitman, then we switched to the maps which was dated 1860’s and followed by 1920’s. The Librarian Elizabeth Call told us that there was a major change of addresses on 1870’s, therefore we had match the maps to find the exact location by looking at block numbers and lot numbers. There were also real estate brochures which had the information which land sold to whom. In addition to books, documents and atlases, there were microfiche and microfilms that they hold information too. Briefly, it was a unique experience for me to be there. Searching through the history never seem to be exciting, however I am so eager to find out about the address which I am iphone 044

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Whitman talks to You! Oatakan for Nov 3rd

November 3rd, 2009 by oatakan

          Last class, we were discussing the difference between the Whitman’s journal that he wrote for newspaper and Whitman’s poems. Difference we looked on many categories like audience, the style, the mood, etc. It is obvious that on journals Whitman just tells the story like reporting the news by adding touch of love to his country, which I was recently reading The Brooklyn Fire Part, and witnessed the sincerity to Brooklyn and works done in Brooklyn. On the other hand, Poems are completely full of feelings like passion, love, desires…In this case, subject person changes too; In poems I and you becomes We in journals. Personally, I enjoy reading his poems more than his journals. His journals are so detailed that especially his description of the locations and issues which tells us once again he is an excellent observer. The reason that I don’t get the same joy as much as I get in his poems is the style and mood that he expresses. Or obviously we can tell that one reports the news and another full of feelings and descriptive way of expressing them with enthusiasm. In his poems, I think greatest parts when he uses the word “you” which makes the person like one to one; poet and audience, makes the person feel he or she is the only one in the room that Whitman talking to.

        For instance, Whitman’s lines on page 294 from “Leaves of Grass”

“When you read these I that was visible am become invisible,
Now it is you, compact, visible, realizing my poems, seeking me,
Fancying how happy you were if I could be with you and become your comrade;
Be it as if I were with you. (Be not too certain but I am now with you.)”

      In many of his lines, Whitman uses the same style to grab reader’s attention and I think he has done it a very wise way. While I am reading some of his similar lines as I given above example it makes me feel like someone is reading my fortune. He could foreseen that his works would be read all over the world. Briefly, he knew that and wanted this way his messages would be delivered to people of future.

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Whitman’s Brooklyn

October 27th, 2009 by oatakan

DSCN0065        First of all, I was amazed by the great part of Brooklyn when we took the Whitman tour. I always heard that is beautiful and expensive when it comes to real estate, however never been in the Heights. If I were asked to live in Manhattan or Brooklyn Heights, I guess I would pick Brooklyn after seeing those beautiful spots with great views. In addition to that, second time in my life I have visited a church which was Plymouth Church, nicely renovated and built on 1849. The presentation of the church was excellent. (thanks to the lady who gave us a tour) It just took me to middle of 19th century, especially when the lady was telling us about a girl who was a slave and which we have seen the picture of her and nowadays a postcard by hallmark. Inside the church I could feel the piece and art work ,each of them was telling a story on painted windows. The Manhattan view was enchanting that it is inevitable not to stop take a look at it hence I can tell Whitman was inspired by divine beauty of the peninsula. Around the corners and the on the walls we have seen Whitman’s information which tells us he is great icon and still being remembered after all these years. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get to edge of the water where Whitman sat and wrote his poems, however I made my promise to myself that I will go again and take a longer tour around the area. I have taken great pictures and probably will be posting all in the class tomorrow. By the way thanks to Jessie and Prof. Gold for this kind of activity. It was really a different experience. I simply feel that we are really into Whitman’s New York by visiting the places that he has been. It is just like learning in class and supporting the knowledge on practical field by being in there. In other words, just like doing a internship at the job location.

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Oatakan for October 20th (Sea of Long Island)

October 18th, 2009 by oatakan

Oatakan  for October 20th

              As a lover of Sea, it is inevitable for me not to notice the sea while reading Whitman’s lines; hence I can tell the sea was one of his great divine influence or in other words an inspiration for him.  I guess watching the horizon the infinity and sound of waves when they hit the shores took him into a great journey of thoughts which created his masterly poems. I have written about the sea and quoted some of Whitman’s lines in the past. (  Constantly finding some other lines about the sea in some way oriented me to mention again.

            Back in days as sources state, Long Island was called Paumanok where Whitman was born West hills, Long island. I can understand Whitman’s passion to Long Island as a person who has visited Huntington many times. I can simply redefine the place as where green meets blue, a lovely place. Nowadays it is a very rich city that noticeable by the mansions in huge beautiful gardens.

 “Sea-beauty! stretch’d and basking!
One side thy inland ocean laving, broad, with copious commerce,
steamers, sails,
And one the Atlantic’s wind caressing, fierce or gentle–mighty hulls
dark-gliding in the distance.
Isle of sweet brooks of drinking-water–healthy air and soil!
Isle of the salty shore and breeze and brine!”

         I remember drinking water from one of the springs of Huntington and to be honest the water tastes so delicious that is like a sweetened. I can also confirm that, as a student of wine class, I know Long Island has great soil to grow grapes and growing wine industry. Also, Whitman writes at another location which is point of Long Island Montauk which is couple hours driving distance from Whitman’s birth place. Montauk is a little town which has very narrow roads between trees (two cars barely fit at wide) to the point that has the famous light house.

“From Montauk Point

I stand as on some mighty eagle’s beak,
Eastward the sea absorbing, viewing, (nothing but sea and sky,)
The tossing waves, the foam, the ships in the distance,
The wild unrest, the snowy, curling caps–that inbound urge and urge
of waves,
Seeking the shores forever.” P635

I would like to attach a link where you can see the ocean live from Montauk Point.

In addition, I noticed “Sea Drift” by Whitman is another example for his passion to sea, where he combines his love with nature, where he gives life to the sea, to the moon and to the sun, etc. For instance,

“…O madly the sea pushes the land

With Love, with love…”p400


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Oct 13th, oatakan

October 12th, 2009 by oatakan

        Whitman’s  Love

        As a person, I always consider myself very pessimist character in life and struggle to be positive thinker.  And I always admire the people who can always think positive and full of joy even though some unpleasant experiences they  face. Since the beginning of the class, I am aware of one particular thing that Whitman is so full of love to life and people. Reading through some of his lines I sense that he can perceive the life and people around him with love and happiness. In other words, Whitman is a person who is able to see the beauty in everything he looks at. As an example of “Song of Occupation” part of “Leaves of Grass”, Whitman lines up all the occupations and details of these people and somehow connects his lines within a harmony.

             In contrast, as last class’ discussion Charles Dickens express his feelings hateful for New Yorkers and calls them pigs during the same time Whitman calls New Yorkers brothers and sisters. In my opinion, we should not connect these that Whitman, himself was a New Yorker and for sure he would be nice to his own people and Dickens was English and he was visiting New York and acted racist. Shortly, it is not the location where you come from. It is that what makes you hateful or loving is how the individual thinks. Briefly, I would say Whitman could be happy and loving in any part of the World. This was just in him that we were all the same. “Every atom belongs to you it belongs to me” . as he he said .In addition to this, Whitman enhance the way that he describes no one is better than other in lines of

“Souls of men and women! it is not you I call unseen, unheard,
untouchable and untouching,
It is not you I go argue pro and con about, and to settle whether
you are alive or no,
I own publicly who you are, if nobody else owns.

Grown, half-grown and babe, of this country and every country,
in-doors and out-doors, one just as much as the other, I see,
And all else behind or through them.

The wife, and she is not one jot less than the husband,
The daughter, and she is just as good as the son,
The mother, and she is every bit as much as the father”


       These lines remind me my favorite poetry Mevlana Rumi who lived on 13th century. In his poems he mostly mentioned of loving universe, people and God. His most known poem started as  “Come whoever you are come…” that he was calling people to love each other, not discriminating one of the livings. Flowingly, I found some other lines of Whitman that we can witness how much passion he had for people and life and saw everyone friendly and lived life joyful. Even though he wasn’t wealthy and a person with family issues like his brother Eddie’s situation, he never gave up being positive.

“…Will you seek afar off? you surely come back at last,
In things best known to you finding the best, or as good as the best,
In folks nearest to you finding the sweetest, strongest, lovingest,
Happiness, knowledge, not in another place but this place, not for
another hour but this hour,
Man in the first you see or touch, always in friend, brother,
nighest neighbor–woman in mother, sister, wife,…” p101


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oatakan, oct 6th, Whitman’s Manhattan

October 6th, 2009 by oatakan

       Oatakan, Oct 6th,  Whitman’s Manhattan

       Based on the readings I found that, descriptive essence of Manhattan, the beautiful city of New York.  The readings of Insider and Outsider generally written about New York City and people who lives who migrates to New York around end of 19th century. I was able to see sort of connection between readings and Whitman’s Manhattan. Edgar Allan Poe is the only writer between the other writers that I knew, who lived in Manhattan once.


My city’s fit and noble name resumed,

Choice aboriginal name, with marvelous beauty, meaning,

A rocky founded island-shores where ever gaily dash the coming, going, hurrying sea waves.”

                                                                                                       Sands at Seventy p635


                   Also in the part of City of Orgies Whitman writes about Manhattan,

CITY of orgies, walks and joys,


City whom that I have lived and sung in your midst will one day  make you illustrious,


Not the pageants of you, not your shifting tableaus, your specta-cles, repay me,


Not the interminable rows of your houses, nor the ships at the  wharves,


Nor the processions in the streets, nor the bright windows with goods in them,


Nor to converse with learn’d persons, or bear my share in the soiree or feast;


Not those, but as I pass O Manhattan, your frequent and swift   flash of eyes offering me love,


Offering response to my own—these repay me,


Lovers, continual lovers, only repay me.




       Relevant to these lines, looking at Manhattan’s history would be useful and I found great information about Manhattan.

Mannahatta/Manhattan: A Natural History of New York City

May 20 through Oct 12

When Henry Hudson and a small crew of Dutch and English sailors rode the flood tide up a great estuarine river on the North American continent on September 12, 1609, they were looking for a passage to Oriental riches.  Instead, they found something much more valuable. Mannahatta’s natural wealth—the old growth forests, stately wetlands, rolling hills, abundant wildlife, people who lived in tune with nature—was prodigious and deep.  The local people called the island “Mannahatta,” which may have meant “island of many hills.”  It would later be known as Manhattan and would become as densely filled with people and avenues as it once teemed with trees and streams.

Mannahatta/Manhattan: A Natural History of New York City will reveal the island of Mannahatta at the time of Henry Hudson’s arrival—a fresh, green new world at the moment of discovery.  Through cutting edge multi-media and historical artifacts and maps, Mannahatta/Manhattan will re-imagine the quiet, wooded island at the mouth of a great river that was destined to become one of the greatest cities on Earth.  Moreover, Mannahatta/Manhattan will challenge visitors to view the city of today as a place where the relationship between nature and people is at its most important and to understand that the principles of diversity, interdependence, and interrelativity operate in a modern mega-city much as they do in nature.  In doing so, the exhibition will contribute something new to the history of New York—a view of its ecological origin—and in that contribution, shape the future as well. 


        In addition to these, Crossing Brooklyn Ferry is another example that shows Whitman’s love to New York. Therefore, I am posting some pictures that I have taken on ferryboat while crossing from Manhattan to Brooklyn, additionally some historic pictures of Broadway.  I wanted to quote some lines from readings too in order to restate other writer’s point of view for the city’s beauty; unfortunately, I can’t open readings pdf files at the moment.

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