Walt Whitman!
January 7, 2004 11:11 AM   Subscribe

Walt Whitman! [Courtesy of My Robot Friend.]
posted by monju_bosatsu (16 comments total)
posted by Outlawyr at 11:25 AM on January 7, 2004

Help me. Help me. I've been hypnotiz-ed.
posted by gwint at 11:40 AM on January 7, 2004

I'm mostly confused...
posted by rhapsodie at 11:57 AM on January 7, 2004

It's like Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries meets "Gonads and Strife".

posted by leapfrog at 12:38 PM on January 7, 2004

i kinda hated it.
posted by Cecily at 1:17 PM on January 7, 2004

definitely hated it
posted by humbe at 3:09 PM on January 7, 2004

Hm. I laughed, but I'm a former-English-major dork. It's a better tribute to the man than that schlocky version of "I Sing The Body Electric" from Fame, anyway. I celebrate the me yet to come indeed!
posted by kittyb at 3:54 PM on January 7, 2004

I suppose it's a measure of our age that a tribute to Whitman has to boil his entire being down to "you had a lot of cool thoughts" and "you had a lot of hott [sic] sex with teenage boys" to make him seem hip. I'm sure Whitman wished he'd had a lot more sex, "hott" or otherwise, with those streetcar conductors who became his friends on his late-night rides through Camden.

A Supermarket in California
by Allen Ginsberg

What thoughts I have of you tonight, Walt Whitman, for I walked down the sidestreets under the trees with a headache self-conscious looking at the full moon.
In my hungry fatigue, and shopping for images, I went into the neon fruit supermarket, dreaming of your enumerations!
What peaches and what penumbras! Whole families shopping at night! Aisles full of husbands! Wives in the avocados, babies in the tomatoes! --and you, García Lorca, what were you doing down by the watermelons?

I saw you, Walt Whitman, childless, lonely old grubber, poking among the meats in the refrigerator and eyeing the grocery boys.
I heard you asking questions of each: Who killed the pork chops? What price bananas? Are you my Angel?
I wandered in and out of the brilliant stacks of cans following you, and followed in my imagination by the store detective.
We strode down the open corridors together in our solitary fancy tasting artichokes, possessing every frozen delicacy, and never passing the cashier.

Where are we going, Walt Whitman? The doors close in a hour. Which way does your beard point tonight?
(I touch your book and dream of our odyssey in the supermarket and feel absurd.)
Will we walk all night through solitary streets? The trees add shade to shade, lights out in the houses, we'll both be lonely.
Will we stroll dreaming of the lost America of love past blue automobiles in driveways, home to our silent cottage?
Ah, dear father, graybeard, lonely old courage-teacher, what America did you have when Charon quit poling his ferry and you got out on a smoking bank and stood watching the boat disappear on the black waters of Lethe?

--Berkeley, 1955
posted by digaman at 4:49 PM on January 7, 2004

He had an America I wish I knew.
posted by _sirmissalot_ at 7:21 PM on January 7, 2004

I guess I can't use this with my Am Lit students, huh.
posted by kozad at 7:41 PM on January 7, 2004


my truck driving robot friend :D [courtesy of andrew! (and the web archive :)]
posted by kliuless at 8:42 PM on January 7, 2004

Tangentially, a pundit of sorts preferred born-and-bred Philadelphians working the traffic reports on Philly radio because the Philly accent came through clearly when reporting on the "Wall Women" bridge.
posted by philfromhavelock at 8:49 PM on January 7, 2004

Oh Captain, my captain!
posted by Aaorn at 9:56 PM on January 7, 2004

He had an America I wish I knew.

Stop looking backwards, sweetie. We have an America Whitman would've *loved* to have had.

Make him proud.
posted by mediareport at 8:34 PM on January 8, 2004

p.s. Thanks, monju_bosatsu and digaman.
posted by mediareport at 8:47 PM on January 8, 2004

Count me among the confused.
posted by CBoots at 9:05 PM on January 8, 2004

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