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“Ben, I think you let that seminar go to your head”

This is the quote I got today from one of my friends, and yes maybe it is true but frankly, I don’t care. Now you might ask yourself “Self? why would Ben be in a situation where he would even have to worry about whether or not he was to wrapped up in this class. […] […]

Ben’s Final Project, A Kosmos of Voices

Ben Brishcar Digital Whitman Scanlon/Earnheart/Groom 10/9/09 A Kosmos of Voices When I was given the option of a nonstandard project for the final for this class, my brain started boggling with options. Immediately the traditional seminar paper was out the window and my head started going towards the […] […]

Where Ben found Walt Whitman

Hey all, so as so much of our focus has been on the Civil War Whitman, I decided to go back to the battlefield where the Civil War really started for Whitman. So here I am on the Fredericksburg battlefield. Ben finding Whitman […]

Ben for 11/17 in which he geeks out about Ginsberg

Ok, ladies, gentleman, boys, girls, and Whitmaniacs of all ages, we have hit the point where I might just lose my cool and start fanboying out completely. See there are two poets that served as my gateway drug into poetry, and they are possibly still my two favorite poets. The first is T S Eliot, […] […]

Ben for 11/10

The definitive Walt Whitman, or How to name a Kosmos. Walt Whitman provides a wonderful complication when attempting to box him in to a specific anthology. One could almost say that he includes multitudes, that is if he did not already say it himself. We have spent the entire semester looking for Whitman, a […] […]

Ben for November 3rd

Ok so since the beginning of the course, I have been searching for Uncle Walt. It has been a bit of an arduous journey. I’ve found Walt Whitman, the cocky eyed rambling prophet with the rakish tilt to his hat and the slightly expanded crotch of the 1855 edition. I’ve found the gospel according to […] […]

Ben for 10-27

Throughout the course of the semester, anyone who has been following my blog at all may have noticed a trend, namely that I spend far to much of my time dealing with which Whitman is speaking, or what aspect of the Kosmos is the reader partial to at this point. We have seen Whitman the […] […]

Ben’s (Im)Material Culture Museum Entry: Ghosts of Virginia The tourist attraction sign for Chatham, where the ghost of a heartbroken woman is said to walk the grounds for one night every seven years. Lamb’s Creek Church, where two Confederate soldiers apparently had a third companion but the flash of lightening They say that there is a church about thirteen miles outside […] […]

Ben B for October 20th

What struck me most while reading the Calder essay this week was her physical descriptions of Whitman, especially within the contexts of much of the photos of him that we have seen from after the war. The Whitman Calder describes is a young virile tree of a man, brash and cocky, the type of Whitman […] […]

Ben B. for October 6th

The reading for this week marks the second time this weekend that I have read “As Toilsome I Wander’d Virginia’s Woods”, the first time at Chatham house, beard bedecked and standing on the mansion steps. There is video of this somewhere, I believe on the flipcam that Sam P was using, and I am sure […] […]

Ben Brishcar for 9-22

The Gospel According to Walt Let me start this by saying that I think I enjoyed Walt Whitman far more when I had to make the leap to proclaim him prophet. Now, granted, it wasn’t that far of a logical stretch to assume that that was the voice he was going for in the 1855 edition […] […]

What Ben wants to know about Whitman

I’m going with my constant preoccupation with voice on this one, but as Professor Emerson would say, sometimes it’s best to stick to your obsessions (loosely paraphrased, but the gist is there). We have spent so much time in class discussing Walt Whitman as this or Walt Whitman as publisher or Walt Whitman as critic […] […]

Ben for Sept. 15

Whitman as a worshipper at a temple Last class, there was a discussion of a section of the 1855 version of “Leaves of Grass” where the speaker and his soul meet in a holy and sexual congress and become one. While this is only the first section we have closely examined in which Whitman equates the […] […]

Looking for America

So we were talking in class today about Emerson’s ideas, which are echoed by Whitman, that poets and poetry can come from anywhere. I, being a slammer by heart, immediately went in my head to slam poetry, which also has this sort of working class attitude and embodies this search for identity within America. Also […] […]

Ben’s Image Gloss

What exactly is a Calumet? “In arriere the peace talk with the Iroquois the aborigines, the calumet, the pipe of good-will, arbitration, and indrosement.” (”Our Old Feuillage” page 321) According to, the calumet is: “a long-stemmed, ornamented tobacco pipe used by North American Indians on ceremonial occasions, esp. in token of peace.” How this functions then, in terms of Whitman’s poetry […] […]

Ben’s Post for 9/8

Me, You and a Boat Ride, examining voice and journeys in “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry” I know that narrative voice was the topic of discussion last week, but it is one of my favorite literary haunts, and so I am returning to it again. Last week, one of the points raised in class was a discussion […] […]

Song Of Ben

“Have you reckoned a thousand acres much? Have you reckoned the earth much? Have you practiced so long to learn to read? Have you felt so proud to get at the meaning of poems?” Stop this day and night with me and you shall possess the origin of all poems, You shall possess the good of the earth and […] […]

Ben’s First Crazy Response to Whitman

There is a long-standing tradition in literary criticism that one should never assume that the voice something is written in is inherently the voice of the author or poet. That the writer always creates a persona through which he or she writes his or her work and although the speaker may claim that he and […] […]

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