Oct 28 2009

Edith Wharton’s Notes for an Essay on Walt Whitman

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American novelist and short story writer Edith Wharton greatly admired Whitman and planned to write an essay about him. Her notes for the unfinished essay are archived with her papers at the Bieneche Library, Yale University.

Whitman Notes Presentation

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Oct 28 2009

New York Times Coverage of Whitman’s Funeral

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My graduate students  visited Whitman’s grave site in Harleigh Cemetery and read the following account of his burial.

Whitman Funeral Article

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Aug 01 2009

Whitman and Edith Wharton

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Edith Wharton greatly admired Whitman. Her parents forbade her to read him when she was a child, considering him (and Poe) dissolute Bohemians. Wharton writes in her memoir, “A Further Glance,” that Leaves of Grass was “kept under lock and key, & brought out, like tobacco, only in the absence of the ‘the ladies'” (21). Wharton’s love of Whitman is evident in her published writings, especially her novel Summer, letter, and notes. She planned to write an essay about him and made notes, which are included in Wharton Archive at the Beinecke Library, Yale University. The record may be viewed through the following link.


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Jul 04 2009

Whitman and California

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Inspired by Pacific coastal scenes on a trip West, I post Whitman’s homage to California:

Leaves of Grass

A PROMISE to California,
Or inland to the great pastoral Plains, and on to Puget sound and
Sojourning east a while longer, soon I travel toward you, to remain,
to teach robust American love,

For I know very well that I and robust love belong among you,
inland, and along the Western sea;

For these States tend inland and toward the Western sea, and I
will also.


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Jun 29 2009

Whitman and the West

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As I prepare for a trip West, I’m curious about Whitman’s views of this region. Here are his no-so-favorable impressions of Kansas women.

Walt Whitman (1819-1892).  Prose Works. 1892.
I. Specimen Days
199. The Women of the West
Kansas City.-I AM not so well satisfied with what I see of the women of the prairie cities. I am writing this where I sit leisurely in a store in Main street, Kansas city, a streaming crowd on the sidewalks flowing by. The ladies (and the same in Denver) are all fashionably drest, and have the look of “gentility” in face, manner and action, but they do not have, either in physique or the mentality appropriate to them, any high native originality of spirit or body, (as the men certainly have, appropriate to them.) They are “intellectual” and fashionable, but dyspeptic-looking and generally doll-like; their ambition evidently is to copy their eastern sisters. Something far different and in advance must appear, to tally and complete the superb masculinity of the West, and maintain and continue it.

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Jun 17 2009

Test Post

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I search with google

Thomas Eakins’ portrait of Whitman

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Mar 07 2009

Whitman House Camden

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Whitman lived for the last years of his life on Mickle Street in Camden.

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Image credit:  “Walt Whitman’s House” by bart

Download “Dirge”

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