An episode from 10/20/21: Tonight, we hear anecdotes from the lives of two very different poets, Walt Whitman and W. B. Yeats. The remarks from Whitman come from the journals he kept while working out the poems that went into the first edition of Leaves of Grass, while the comments from Yeats span the first half of his life. Should we be surprised that both poets experienced extreme doubts not just at the beginning of their writing lives, but all through them?
The passage from Whitman can be found in the appendices of Gary Schmidgall’s edition of Whitman’s poems; the quotations from Yeats can be found in the first volume of R. F. Foster’s biography of Yeats.
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