Tag Archives: Walt Whitman

Weekly Whitman: An Earlier Inauguration

Walt Whitman covered the 1864 presidential inauguration of Abraham Lincoln for The New York Times. His language is poetic rather than political, and no one is sure if he could even hear the speech. The text of the speech was … Continue reading

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Weekly Whitman: The Sounds of Winter

Union and Confederate soldiers spent three winters in service during the years 1861-65. Whether it was winter merriment in New Orleans or, more commonly, bivouacked among the snowdrifts of the South, it was cold and strange for men who had … Continue reading

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Weekly Whitman: … and the war came

With a new year upon us—after being crushed by 2020—we gift you with a poem. “1861.” Manhattan was a separate part of New York City at that time, and Walt Whitman spent a great deal of time there, reporting on … Continue reading

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Weekly Whitman: Not Such a Merry Christmas

Walt Whitman’s mother raised a couple of very unusual sons. One was Walt, of course—the other was George Washington Whitman, Walt’s little brother. As soon as the war began and he could get his effects in order, George volunteered for … Continue reading

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Weekly Whitman: A Christmas Greeting from a Northern Star-Group to a Southern. 1889-’90

Walt Whitman sent a Christmas card to the entire country of Brazil in 1889. That year, a Brazilian field marshal named Manuel Deodoro da Fonseca overthrew Emperor Dom Pedro II and declared the nation a republic. On Christmas Day, seventy-year-old Whitman wrote … Continue reading

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Weekly Whiteman: To a Locomotive in Winter

Thee for my recitative, Thee in the driving storm even as now, the snow, the winter-day declining, Thee in thy panoply, thy measur’d dual throbbing and thy beat convulsive, Thy black cylindric body, golden brass, and silvery steel, Thy ponderous … Continue reading

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Weekly Whitman: Pioneers! O Pioneers!

 “Pioneers! O Pioneers!” is one of the most recorded of Whitman’s poems. Actor Will Geer reads in this YouTube presentation, illustrated by images of American pioneers heading west from the 1840s onward. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7DRElG0VSo4

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Weekly Whitman: “Thick-Sprinkled Bunting”

THICK-SPRINKLED bunting! Flag of stars! Long yet your road, fateful flag!—long yet your road, and lined with bloody death! For the prize I see at issue, at last is the world! All its ships and shores I see, interwoven with … Continue reading

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Weekly Whitman: “By the Bivouac’s Fearful Flame”

By the bivouac’s fitful flame, A procession winding around me, solemn and sweet and slow—but first I note, The tents of the sleeping army, the fields’ and woods’ dim outline, The darkness lit by spots of kindled fire, the silence, … Continue reading

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Weekly Whitman: “America”

Walt Whitman himself reads this short poem, caught for posterity on a wax cylinder.

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