Whitman’s Death Poetry

Walt Whitman's Death Poetry Human Voices Wake Us

An episode from 4/14/22: “Has any one supposed it lucky to be born?” Walt Whitman asks. “I hasten to inform him or her it is just as lucky to die, and I know it.” Long after so many of his poems have ceased to shock us, Whitman’s attitude towards death remains perhaps the most challenging in all of his poetry. Tonight, I read from my favorite of those poems: the youthful bits from “Song of Myself,” his meditations over the Civil War, and the poems that came from old age. They can all be found in The Selected Short Poems of Walt Whitman, and The Selected Long Poems of Walt Whitman.

Short Poems:

  • Selections from “Song of Myself”
  • The Compost
  • I Sit and Look Out
  • Scented Herbage of My Breast
  • Of Him I Love Day and Night
  • As the Time Draws Nigh
  • So Long!
  • Not Youth Pertains to Me
  • Old War-Dreams
  • As at Thy Portals Also Death
  • A Carol Closing Sixty-Nine
  • As I Sit Writing Here
  • Supplement Hours

Long Poems:

  • The Sleepers
  • As I Ebb’d with the Ocean of Life
  • Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking
  • When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d

Don’t forget to join Human Voices Wake Us on Patreon, or sign up for our newsletter here. You can also support the podcast by ordering any of my books: Notes from the Grid, To the House of the Sun, The Lonely Young & the Lonely Old, and Bone Antler Stone.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Thank you, I appreciate your posts so very much.

    1. Tim Miller says:

      Thanks so much, Frances. I appreciate your comments as well, even if it takes me some time to getting around to saying it. Send along a link to any of the Wordsworth-inspired books that you mentioned writing (& staging), I’d love to see those

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