Thursday, April 26, 2018

W is for Walt Whitman: Always in Love

For those who haven't played along before, the AtoZ Blogging Challenge asks bloggers to post every day during April (excepting Sundays), which works out to 26 days, one for each letter of the alphabet. In my opinion, it's the most fun if you choose a theme.

This will be my 5th year participating.
My theme this year is Poets I Love all about some of the poets whose work has touched me over the years.

For my regular readers, you'll see more than the usual once-a-week posts from me this month. I'm having a great time writing them, so I hope you enjoy reading them, too. Be sure to check out some of the other bloggers stretching their limits this month to share their passions with you, too. With over 600 participants, there is bound to be something you'd love to read.

In 2017, I decided I would read a poem every day and post about it. Poetry was such a central part of my life when I was younger, but it had drifted almost entirely out of my life, and I realized I missed it. The inspiration for that project was Walt Whitman. My eldest daughter was reading Leaves of Grass for a literature class she was taking, and I LOVED talking with her about the verses of his I loved most, and about his place in the history of American poetry. It seems fitting that it was Whitman who brought me back to reading poetry after an absence of many years.

One of his poems that I remembered fondly was "I Sing the Body Electric." There's that part in Bull Durham where Susan Sarandon remind us how sexy some parts of it are when she reads it aloud to her lover.

When I revisited the whole poem, the first thing I noticed is that it's a lot longer than I remembered. It's a nine part poem! 

The next thing I noticed was the range of it. It's all a celebration of human form, but it waxes philosophical, scientific, personal, and political in turns. It's a sweeping, epic vision, and you can get pulled up into the beautiful maelstrom of words. 

Whitman in his verses always seems to be love. His joy, fascination, and celebration are contagious. Reading him, I fall back in love, too, and see my fellow human beings as the wondrous creations they are. 

No comments:

Post a Comment