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Allison’s Final Paper

Whitman: The Inseminator Cum on and check out my paper on Raunchy Whitman! […]

Allison for Nov. 17

Aside from their alliterative “W” names, Walt Whitman and William Carlos Williams have a lot in common. I’m surprised and slightly disappointed in myself for not seeing the heavy Whitmanic influence over Williams’ work before. Both WWs have held consistent spots in my “top 5″ since high school, and now I feel an entirely new […] […]

Finding Whitman Project

*Wardrobe provided by the University of Mary Washington. […]

Allison for Nov. 10

There has been a shift in the way I read and relate to Whitman. In the 1855 edition, Whitman felt like my pal; his messiness, his unbridled passion, his desire to explore everything and know everything, his embrace of his own egotism—all these things I relate to as a twenty-something. While reading the deathbed edition […] […]

Allison for Nov. 3

What lurks behind editing? We know now a great deal about his personal life through his letters, Memoranda, information given to us by our pals Reynolds, Morris, and Erkkila, but there still remains a void. Whitman, containing multitudes, is not easily pieced together. His poetry, though we can only speculate, reveals some thing deeper than […] […]

Whitman’s “Recycled” Words

Quick post about an observation that just occurred to me. I was just reading the Preface to the 1855 Leaves of Grass and I stumbled across these little nuggets: “The United States themselves are essentially the greatest poem.” and: “Here is not merely a nation but a teeming nation of nations.” and: ‘Here is action […] […]

Allison for Oct. 27

To express oneself so freely, so eloquently, and in such detail denotes someone who is self aware. Whitman is extremely self aware and fully capable of exploring and identifying the “multitudes” within himself. I believe this heightened sense of awareness, which borders on prophetic at times, is what attracts Whitman to Lincoln. Whitman is able […] […]

Material Culture Museum: Ice Cream!

The origins of ice cream are mysterious. There’s documentation of people flavoring snow hundreds of years before the birth of Christ, but that’s really more of a primative snow cone than ice cream. Some might place its beginning during the reign of Nero (54-68 CE), because the famous Emperor enjoyed a frozen, sweetened combination of […] […]

Allison for Oct. 20

Walt Whitman craves intimacy. This thought has occurred to me sporadically throughout the semester, but the readings for this week, especially the letters and Ellen Calder’s piece, struck me over and over again with Whitman’s desire for intimacy with any and every one. Now I think it’s safe to say that I know Walt Whitman […] […]

Allison for Oct. 6

Here’s the cliche (maxim/adage/saying/whatever) running through my mind while reading Reynolds’ article and relating it to this week’s questions: blessing in disguise. Reynolds’ reminds us that even though the Civil War was horrible, many good things came of it; things that Walt Whitman, being the saucy prophet he is, desired and foresaw with a sense […] […]

Fredericksburg Fun!

Posting now, immediately following our Fredericksburg field trip, while everything is fresh and easily flowing from my fingertips. Our first stop was the battle ground on Sunken Rd, which was the site of an extremely bloody massacre of Union soldiers. The geography of Marye Heights gave the Confederates at easy victory, despite the fact the Union […] […]

Allison for Sept. 29 (My Birthday!)

I promise I will address the topic at hand this week, but first I must briefly continue the discourse from last week concerning Whitman’s stylistic (and personal?) change by cause of the war. Please excuse me as I quote at great length from The Better Angel: “One of the marks of any great writer is […] […]

Allison For Sept. 22

I believe it was Dr. Scanlon who used the phrase “micro-manage” to describe Whitman’s poetic shift after 1855. If it’s okay with you, Dr. Scanlon, I’m going to run with this idea. In the 1855 edition of Leaves, as we have discussed in class, there is hardly any opportunity to stop and catch your breath; […] […]

What I Don’t Know About Whitman…

I can and will easily look this up, but I’m curious about Whitman’s actual love life. Did he find “The One”? Did he have a long term relationship? Or just a series of flings and sort-lived romances? I feel like this information would illuminate a lot from Calamus and Adam, and add a new level of […] […]

Allison for Sept. 15

In his letter to Emerson, Whitman addresses the “infidelism” concerning sex in America. He explains to Emerson that the body and sex, just like everything else (in typical Whitman fashion, he rambles off a long list), deserves to be expressed and sung about. While Whitman could have stopped there, he instead includes a profound little […] […]

Image Gloss

“The quadroon girl is sold at the stand…. ” (39). Quadroon: Someone of 1/4 Black ancestry. A term used in The South during the 19th century. This was during the time of Jim Crow laws and the “one drop” rule, in which anyone with any amount of Black ancestry was considered Black. Jade, from America’s Next Top […] […]

Allison For Sept. 8

Whitman reveals through his poetry a certain fascination with the relationship between the part to the whole. He meanders through ideas questioning the authority of the whole over its parts, or whether the parts control the whole, and the intricate, inseparable mingling of many pieces joining together to form one “big picture.” With this, Whitman […] […]

Allison For Sept. 1

What makes Whitman’s “Song of Myself” so jarring has nothing to do with his poetic syntax or clever word choice; what makes this poem worth reading, not just reading but consuming, is the insatiable life that emanates from it. The speaker of “Song of Myself” cannot be defined, touched, or contained. Never passive, utterly present, […] […]