The father and mother of American poetry! That is what this pair have been called; see Ginsberg, along with Sharon Olds and Galway Kinnell singing their praises: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2M5O3_FYB4A
This week we have explored “Song of Myself”, “The Brooklyn Ferry” and a host of poems by Emily Dickinson. The present such an astonishing difference in life-style and yet share so much in common in their reaction to authoritarian religion and their quest for personal freedom. Here too, is a wonderful short clip on a recent exhibition on Emily Dickinson’s life and work: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLeMZ5WIdrI
Some keep the Sabbath going to Church –
I keep it, staying at Home –
With a Bobolink for a Chorister –
And an Orchard, for a Dome –
writes Dickinson, while Whitman warbles:
Divine am I inside and out, and I make holy whatever I touch or am touch’d from
The scent of these arm-pits aroma finer than prayer,
This head more than churches, bibles, and all creeds.
Blog topics for this week (enjoy)
1/ Write a poem in the style of Emily Dickinson beginning with any of the following opening lines:
A Bird, came down the Walk….
I head a Fly buzz – when I died-
I cannot live with you…
I started Early – took my Dog-
The Brain – wider than the Sky-
A narrow Fellow in the Grass…
2/ Write a poem in the style of Whitman beginning with the any of the following opening lines:
I believe a leaf of grass…
I think I could turn and live with animals…
Unscrew the locks from the doors…
The little one sleeps in its cradle…
I celebrate and sing myself…
3/ Give a brief account (in your own words) of why Whitman referred to Abraham Lincoln as “O Captain! My Captain”.
4/ If you have seen the film A Quiet Passion write a brief review of the film saying how it has opened your eyes to the kind of poet Emily Dickinson was.
5/ Create your own topic that weaves your impressions of either Whitman or Dickinson (or both) into a paragraph that expresses your sense of what is personally important about these two artists.
Enjoy… and get reading Huck!