Today’s Weekly Whitman will take 32 minutes of your time but is worth every second. It is a collection of movie clips and television shows that somehow included Whitman and his words. It is magical! You will remember the obvious movies like Undead Poets Society, but you have probably forgotten how important “Uncle Walt” is to Bull Durham. Maybe you remember the television show “Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman.” In season 5 the show did an entire hour about Whitman, outing him as gay—and this was in 1997. Apparently everyone in Dr. Quinn’s town knew about Whitman’s preferences… and refused to come to hear him read poetry because they were homophobic. Ah, well. 1997—you know.
There are many films and shows given a few seconds of fame in this nice YouTube clip, and it is delightful to watch. The commentary is smart, and there’s just enough of it to put things on order—then Paul Moon lets the film clips tell their stories. I hope you enjoy this!
“Whitman on Film: A Video Essay” by H. Paul Moon