Whitman’s Long Foreground

Walt Whitman's Life #1: Whitman's Long Foreground Human Voices Wake Us

An episode from 3/4/21: Perhaps the episode that changed everything, where I decided that perhaps the best way to talk about poetry or creativity was to read from a biography of any given person, and make comments along the way.

This, then is the first of six episodes I recorded, reading from Paul Zweig’s Walt Whitman: The Making of the Poet, which focuses on the years preceding the publication of Leaves of Grass, and the decade or so after, which Zweig and many others identify as the period in which he wrote his best poetry. 

Since the first broadcast of this episode, I’ve edited my favorite of Whitman’s poems in two volumes in the S4N Pocket Poems series: Selected Long Poems and Selected Short Poems.

The best place to find Whitman’s poetry online (or anything about him at all) remains the Whitman Archive, and you can find every edition of Leaves of Grass here (as plain text downloads) and here (facsimiles of the original editions).

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