Tag Archives: Walt Whitman

Why I love the man

Ecce homo! From the transcript of a University of Michigan spring commencement speech that President Barack Obama gave on May 1, 2010:  [W]e need an educated citizenry that values hard evidence and not just assertion. As Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan famously … Continue reading

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Some Lines from Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself”

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Are You a Romantic or an Enlightenment Rationalist?

What, exactly, is being accessed by Todd here?:

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Levi’s Abusing Walt Whitman?

I think I dislike this use of Walt Whitman. It feels like a debasement of his poetry—like using the Bible or the Bhagavad Gita to sell soda. And what’s up with the Leni Riefenstahl vibe and the fascist salutes (one toward the … Continue reading

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Atheism, Reductionism, and Walt Whitman’s “When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer”

The poem below by Walt Whitman expresses emotions akin to my own after I had recently spent a full day, and most of an evening, attending lectures by Richard Dawkins and other scientists at an atheist conference in Burbank, Ca.: When I heard … Continue reading

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A Reading of Walt Whitman’s “O Captain! My Captain!”

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Poem for Summer Vacations

Passage O soul to India! Passage, immediate passage! the blood burns in my veins! Away O soul! hoist instantly the anchor! Cut the hawsers—haul out—shake out every sail! Have we not stood here like trees in the ground long enough? … Continue reading

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Atheists Too Sing America! The Atheist Bus Campaign Comes to Indiana

I like the groovy hippie vibe the ad gives off. It seems to me a slogan less dubious and preachy than the British one (“Now stop worrying, etc.”). In fact, due to this particular ad’s curtness (“You can be good without God”) … Continue reading

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Walt Whitman: “To be indeed a God!”

O to attract by more than attraction! How it is I know not—yet behold! the something which      obeys none of the rest, It is offensive, never defensive—yet how magnetic it draws.   O to struggle against great odds, to … Continue reading

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Walt Whitman and Barack Obama are Large and Contain Multitudes?

I saw Walt Whitman in Obama here. Today I discovered that novelist Zadie Smith made the same connection recently: Obama can do young Jewish male, black old lady from the South Side, white woman from Kansas, Kenyan elders, white Harvard … Continue reading

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Prance, Blow, and Have Peak Experiences: Men in Tights from the 1400s Remind You How to Live (Detail of a Painting at the Getty Museum, Los Angeles, CA)

I see that the elementary laws never apologize . . . I laugh at what you call dissolution, And I know the amplitude of time. (Walt Whitman, “Song of Myself,” lines 411, 420-421)

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