AL&P: Selections from Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman

2007-03-20 00:00

Whatever aesthetic Whitman aimed for, he missed, in my opinion. These poems are long, barely cogent strings of poem-like imagery, albeit individualistic. They certainly don’t qualify as “songs” of any kind. The classical song/poems, (where the word was the same in Greek/Latin) at least had a recognizable metre. Whitman barely manages a cadence; he is no Homer, nor Virgil. (Though, having read Homer only in translation, I cannot attest to his metrical brilliance.) I find myself far too distracted by the form and ‘bumpiness’ of Whitman’s writing (I daresay, it’s not really poetry in the traditional sense) to even attempt to think his content through. Perhaps class discussion will help, but I am pessimistic to his ability to speak to a modern audience as effectively as to the audience of his day.To be continued…

Note: This entry imported via Facebook's Note feature from my old website, much is expected to be broken.

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