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Jan 12, 2021 | David Dewayne “Song of Myself”

When I teach “Song of Myself,” I refer to The Cambridge Introduction to Walt Whitman, by M. Jimmie Killingsworth. In particular, I refer to what Killingsworth identifies as the five major features of the poem. For my students I further identify these features as “breakthroughs” that would come to largely characterize the modern poetry that […]

Jan 12, 2021 | David Dewayne Specimen Days

The syllabus questions for Specimen Days are as follows: 1. Whitman is still writing about his “self,” but in a different format. How does this change in genre, from poetry to fragmentary prose, affect your overall impression of Whitman? 2.Whitman is more interested here in history, both personal and collective. How does he present a […]

Jan 12, 2021 | Chris Motely Democratic Vistas

“Song of Myself” brought forth Whitman’s vision of variety. Not only does he depict multiple ways of life and of making a living, but he also offers insight into the fabric of reality on an almost subatomic level. This is the crux of his poetry. How to theorize about such variety? This is the stated […]