Since a lingering cold is keeping me from recording a new episode, I thought to replay my favorite section from Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself. Perhaps only in another poem of his, Crossing Brooklyn Ferry, do we get such a powerful and compressed example of Whitman’s sympathy and empathy; his mysticism and earthiness; his love for the world and the present moment, and his deep awareness of history and the future. In a strange way, we are never more alone than when reading or hearing Whitman, but somehow we are also never in better company.
This episode was first broadcast on 9/13/2021. The best of Whitman’s long poems can be found in the volume I edited, Selected Long Poems.
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