Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Whitman in Popular Culture

Whitman's image sold cigars! The same self-promotion which enhanced his literary presence was effective in marketing things like smokes, alcohol, and medicine. Walt Whitman: the original "most interesting man in the world," perhaps.

2. Fame (1980): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tG-wl2qqD7Y
"I Sing the Body Electric:" Well, they're singing, they allude to his poem's title, and they certainly celebrate their bodies and their individual and universal greatness, but beyond that there's not a great resemblance.

3. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1568/is_n3_v30/ai_20856066/
In which it is claimed that former president Bill Clinton flirted/bonded with both Hillary and Monica via Leaves of Grass. This is where the poet of the body meets, um, the president of the body. There is something to be said of the skill for the common touch both men exhibited. Perhaps the less said in this case, the better.

4. Isadora Duncan enjoyed Whitman's poetry and even danced to it. Contemporary-dance.org says "Isadora consults works about all types of dance carefully before declaring that her only dance masters would be Jean Jacques Rousseau, Walt Whitman, and Friedrich Nietzche."

5. Federico Garcia Lorca: "Ode to Walt Whitman"
This is intense; it's not one of his gypsy-style poems. "Not for a moment, Walt Whitman, lovely old man / have I failed to see your beard full of butterflies"--nice, right? And then it's dozens of the other-F-word and "life is neither noble, nor good, nor sacred."

1 comment:

  1. Bill "I did not have sexual relations with that woman" Clinton?