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The Playwrights Forum > Critic's Corner > Reviews and Critiques > How The Civil War Changed Walt Whitman's Poetry

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How The Civil War Changed Walt Whitman's Poetry  Rate Topic 
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 Posted: Thu Feb 17th, 2011 03:52 am
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Walt Whitman’s Civil War verse was initially simple, boosterish, and full of masculine heroics – no “dainty rhymes” for him. The carnage at Fredericksburg forever changed his perspective... more»



http://www.neh.gov/news/humanities/2011-01/daybreak.html


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 Posted: Thu Feb 17th, 2011 02:34 pm
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katoagogo
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Very interesting article.  I've never really read Whitman except how his work inspired and related to the Beat Poets, but this story has me intrigued.

--kato

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 Posted: Fri Feb 18th, 2011 12:08 am
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Imagine receiving a letter from Edward Albee if you had just sent him your first play and getting back a letter like the one Ralph Waldo Emerson sent Walt Whitman after Whitman sent him his first poems, "Leaves of Grass".


http://www.classroomelectric.org/volume1/belasco/whitman-emerson.htm

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 Posted: Fri Feb 18th, 2011 04:20 pm
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katoagogo
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Thanks for the link.  What an interesting letter and subsequent controversy due to the printing of quotes and the release by Whitman of the letter itself.  Quite the modern marketer Whitman proved himself with that action, eh?

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 Posted: Fri Feb 18th, 2011 05:56 pm
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kato,

Yeah, today there would be a lawsuit!

Whitman was a bit of a showman.

You would be happy if you introduced yourself to some of his work.



imr

Last edited on Fri Feb 18th, 2011 05:58 pm by in media res

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 Posted: Fri Feb 18th, 2011 08:42 pm
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http://www.princeton.edu/~batke/logr/log_026.html

I agree Whitman was a bit of a showman.  But aren't we all?

timmy

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 Posted: Sat Feb 19th, 2011 03:42 am
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Whitman would have been very comfortable in the Internet Age.

He would have been in the forefront of marketing. First on Facebook!

Many successful artists -theatre or otherwise - often have followed principles New York City's Tammany Hall's George Washington Plunkitt—“I seen my opportunities and I took 'em.”

Sometimes, just sheer gall can get you through in this business.

Without that drive, Whitman could have lingered for years in anonymity, though eventually his genius would have burst through. Thank god for Emerson! And the "Beats" never were as good as Whitman. Good to very good... but not great.

One of my former girlfriends of several years in NYC, who grew up as a kid quite intimately amongst them in Greenwich Village, basically said, "They were a bunch of leeches and drunks."

Not that some of their poetry wasn't good to sometimes very good - never reaching the genius of Whitman (who can?) - depending on who the poet was - but their lives were shitty and they were shitty to others. She knew from personal experience. Not a happy childhood. She has turned out to be successful in her own right. Learned form experience, I guess.

best,

IMR

Last edited on Sat Feb 19th, 2011 03:43 am by in media res

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